Born in 1928, in New York, William Klein is the son of Jewish immigrants. Although he did not attend any art classes, he became very sensitive to art at an early age and often went to the Moma. William Klein is well-known for his photographic works but he is also a painter and a filmmaker. He is certainly the most French American artist as he arrived in Paris during World War II and still lives and works here. After he passed his grade in sociology at the age of 18, he entered the American army and thanks to the partnership between France and the United-States he attended class at the Sorbonne. Klein developed his artistic process and interests to create new visual objects always at the limits of painting, photography and films in order to give his own vision of reality with his proper style at the same time brutal and poetic. He learnt the bases of art in books and assumed as influences the painters of the Quattrocento as well as comics, the Bauhaus and Dadaism. We will see through his different works (painting, photography and movies) how William Klein has always been and is still a controversial and inventive artist.
[...] As Klein was not really interested into clothes and all the fashion stuff, he considered his job as an opportunity to make a living of photography and make his personal researches on this medium such as the use of wide angle, long focus lenses, multiple and long exposures and the flash. The fashion became a field of photographic innovation. Klein did not want the models to pose but to act. He played with the traditional poses such as the hands on the waist and adapted it. He transformed the model and the garment into something artful, an injection of fantasy through the experiments into the composition. [...]
[...] Article WOLINSKI N., William Klein, Beaubourg tétanisé in Beaux-arts Magazine, n 258, p. 80-87, Ed. Beaux-arts S.A.S., Paris DVD Who are you Polly Maggoo? In and Out of Fashion. [...]
[...] After his controversial success, Klein went to Italy to work with Fellini and finally published the book Rome in 1957 (The Holly Family on motorbike). Klein went on with his books on cities with Moscow in 1959 (Roland Barthes had seen in this work only the ethnographic side which frustrates Klein, he thought that he had shown much more than this) and Tokyo 1965. His aim was quite similar: to reveal the city, but those times he was definitely a stranger and could express his curiosity. Through these books he developed at the same time aesthetic photography and documentary. [...]
[...] The use of color is a way of showing the multi-ethnicity of the city. The innovation of Klein is also in his technique (similar to the one of the 1950's) with a large angle to catch as much as possible, the use of flash to catch the details and the out of focus scale to give his own vision of the world. The characteristics of all the pictures are distortion, composition apparently disordered, uncomfortable, crude sensations produced by the cities. [...]
[...] Among the artists he has influenced are the photo reporters Kim Manresa and Txema Salvans, in their proximity to catch the movements and in their popular images. The day Kady lost part of her life by Kim Manresa. Serbia, Guatemala, by Txema Salvans. Bibliography Books CAUJOLLE C., William Klein, Paris, Nathan KLEIN W., Rome, Paris, Seuil KLEIN W., Close Up, Paris, Thames and Hudson KLEIN W., Mode in and out, Paris, Seuil KLEIN W., New York 1954-1955, Paris, Marval (1956). KLEIN W., Paris+Klein, Paris, Marval Catalogue William Klein, Beaubourg, Paris déc. 2005- 20 fév Marval. [...]
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