Art & Photography
William Klein (b.1928)
WILLIAM KLEIN Life is Good & Good for You In New York, 1956
William Klein (1928)
William Klein ( b 1928) is a displaced New Yorker, currently living in Paris. He started out as a painter of Abstract Impressionism in the 1950s. Later he turned to photography and became a renowned fashion photographer working alongside the other Kleins, Yves and Calvin, and a recorder of life on the streets.
His fashion work has been featured prominently in Vogue magazine, and has also been the subject of several iconic photo books, including Life is Good and Good for You In New York (1957) and Tokyo(1964). In the 1980s, he turned to film projects and has produced many memorable documentary and feature films, such as Muhammed Ali, The Greatest (1969).
His works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.
The photographs; often blurred or out of focus, his use of high-contrast prints, high-grain film and wide angles, shocked the established order of the photography world. Uncompromising in his vision and technique, it was this raw approach that served Klein well enabling him to capture his subjects with an honesty that echoed the diversity of moods, people and situations present in life.
Yet they are carefully composed images. They are attempts to capture the culture of the place at the time. The New York photos are set against the depressing Cold War atmosphere and the hustler economy of a city imploding under its contradictions.