William Klein

New-York + Klein

William Klein

born in 1928 in New York (United States)

"My motto, when producing 'New York' was 'anything goes'. It is still true today. No rules, no limits, no holding back."Read more

In 1954, William Klein returns to New York after an eight-year absence and creates a vibrant "photographic diary" of his short stay in the city.

Torn by his love/hate relationship for his hometown, he paints New York as a chaotic, disorderly almost absurd metropolis. Throughout this opus, pivotal in the history of photography, we see how a twenty-six year-old abstract painter seized reality through his camera and turned it into an artistic expression. The grain, the violent contrasts, the complex compositions, the angles, the deformations, the blurs, often associated with press photography become elements of a deliberate approach. William Klein refuses to uphold the documentary objectiveness so popular at the time and assumes his biases that erase any distinction between himself and his subjects. Using ultra-sensitive films, a wide angle lens and an usual printing technique, he is, along with a few others, responsible for the entry into Contemporary Art of the photographic medium.

Rejected by American publishers, Life is Good and Good for You in New York: Trance Witness Revels was published with the support of Chris Marker by the French Editions du Seuil in 1956. The following year, it received the Prix Nadar and his, to this day, considered as one of the most important book in the history of photography.

Afterwards, he also portrayed other cities: Rome (1960), Moscow (1964) and Tokyo (1964)