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William Klein

Photographer

1928 - New York, U.S.A
BIT ABOUT ME

Take all the rules about photography that you know (technique, composition, etc.), twist them around or deny them and you get an idea of the “subversive” style of William Klein. He was born as a fashion photographer for the Vogue magazine, Klein has frequently experimented in the field of street photography: he had a rebellious streak against the rules and the commonly accepted traditions. His “refusal is without compromises”, and he had an open, ongoing polemic against most of the “styles” of photography contemporary to his time, specifically the one from Henri Cartier Bresson and the other “classics” of the street photography. - streetphotographyintheworld.com

Klein photography of the 1950s was unusual for its time: grainy, blurry, high-contrast photographs--qualities generally considered defects in the popular photographic community. Klein not only accepted but cultivated these qualities by using a 35-millimeter camera, slow film, and a wide-angle lens, for both his fashion photography and his personal work. His approach set a precedent for many street photographers of the 1960s, whose work draws upon many of his innovations. - International Center of Photography

In 1946 he joined the U.S. Army  and was stationed in Germany, where he won his first camera in a poker game. After relocating to Paris in 1948, he continued his studies at the Sorbonne with the assistance of the G.I. Bill. At the time, his focus was abstract painting and sculpture. After studying with the French artist Fernand Léger, Klein’s early career breaks came from two exhibitions in Milan, where he was discovered by the architect Angelo Mangiarotti. They began to collaborate when Mangiarotti asked Klein to recreate once of his abstract paintings on the rotating room dividers of a Milanese apartment—his first commissioned work. It was the experience of documenting these panels in motion that lead him to reconsider photography. - Howard Greenberg Gallery

William Klein (born April 19, 1928) is an American-born French photographer and filmmaker noted for his ironic approach to both media and his extensive use of unusual photographic techniques in the context of photojournalism and fashion photography.He was ranked 25th on Professional Photographer's list of 100 most influential photographers.

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Latest articles
William Klein: 'My pictures showed everything I resented about America'
A resident of Paris for 60 years, Klein’s photographs of 1950s New York caught the city’s energy and grit and made his name. He talks about returning to Brooklyn, working for Vogue – and being praised by Picasso
William Klein: Everything I did, I did for her
The legendary photographer can give any subject − boxers, thugs, slums − a touch of polish. Well, any subject except himself…
Books
William Klein: Rome http://a.co/ebEpGXc
William Klein (Thames & Hudson Photofile) http://a.co/d5dvbJC
William Klein: Paris + Klein http://a.co/c2I5uFG
Brooklyn+Klein http://a.co/dW8SxoN
William Klein: Life is Good & Good for You in New York: Books on Books No. 5 http://a.co/dUbabUY
William Klein, New York, 1954-1955 http://a.co/fysERVL
William Klein ABC http://a.co/8yrAA8I