Born in 1960 in NYC, Bruce Polin started photographing at the age of 14 when he bought his first 35mm camera to document his prosthetic theatrical makeup self-transformations. Soon after, he started to focus solely on camera-work.
Polin studied photography at the School of Visual Arts and later received a BFA at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He assisted photographer Neil Slavin, printed for Rosalind Solomon, and, in the ‘80s, managed an art gallery in New York City’s East Village. He later started New York Dupes, a slide and transparency duplication service specifically for art galleries and museums. He was the first ‘official’ photographer for the American Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY.
In the early ‘90s he started Descarga, a Latin music company specializing in Afro-Cuban dance music.
But photography was always a grounding force in his life, and, after the closing of Descarga, he began to focus exclusively on his work, returning to photography’s essentials using large format analog cameras.
In 2013 he began a portrait project in his basement studio using 8x10 film cameras as well as an obscure 4x5 twin-lens camera called the Gowlandflex, which he began taking outdoors to do field portraits in diverse areas of Brooklyn, NY. He found himself returning, again and again, to Prospect Park and, since late 2016, has concentrated his efforts there exclusively, taking portraits of strangers using his folding 8x10 camera.
His project ‘Deep Park’ is a 2018 Lensculture Series winner, and will be exhibited at Farmer Family Gallery at Ohio State University in Lima, January 17 through March 7, 2019.
Bruce Polin lives in Brooklyn with his wife, daughters, and his cat, Archie.