Klein talks about working on the streets, in the studio, and on making his feature films. William Klein is one of the twentieth century’s most important photographers and film-makers and in this interview for Tate Media, he discusses his experience photographing on the streets of New York, the challenges in publishing his first New York book and how he worked with filmmaker Federico Fellini. At one point they planned a black-heritage Bible. This would be the first of two visits with Klein for this interview, which touches on the course of his remarkable career: his now-classic books on cities, including his hometown in Life Is Good & Good for You in New York: Trance Witness Revels (1956), Rome (1958–59), Tokyo (1964), Moscow (1964), and Paris (2003), all alive with Klein’s signature kineticism; his 1960s fashion work for Alexander Liberman, the celebrated art director at Vogue. WK: It wasn’t a problem, just an observation I had to make. Tokyo is… It was a way of making a living. In fact, his first film, a short with a boxer, was an extension of a picture story that he did for Look magazine; I remember having seen it when it came out. They wanted to make, out of nothing, new cities, and I wanted to show how ridiculous all this was. Would you like to see it?” I showed it to him in the boat’s movie theater, and he said, “This is the first film I’ve ever seen in which the color is absolutely necessary.”, On Qui etes-vous, Polly Maggoo? Jobs It was shot at the end of ’67 and the beginning of ’68, but the French government censored it for nine months, thinking it was about May ’68. Although similar in subject matter to other street photographers such as Diane Arbus and Saul Leiter, as well as fashion photographers Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, Klein’s images break from established modes. I guess my position is pretty marginal everywhere — then and now. There are thirteen sequences, and I tried to do each one in a different movie style. Another section became True Confessions: everything looked like a magazine spread. On Le couple témoin (The Model Couple) (1975-1976). Those who didn’t think I took them seriously enough. Apr 22, 2019 - In his living room in Paris, William Klein flips through the new edition of his book, Tokyo, which just arrived from Japan. So I developed just a part of it about this model couple in a model apartment who were being tested night and day — a science fiction farce. This, you suspect, is the real story of William Klein's life: work as fun, with a little bit of confrontation thrown in. William G. Kaelin Jr The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2019 Born: 23 November 1957, New York, NY, USA Affiliation at the time of the award: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, MD, USA, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical, Boston, MA, USA We were on the pier with all our suitcases when I saw Orson Welles with a cigar and a little attaché case – that’s all he had as luggage. William Klein. It was about New York. They were wrong. AS: Were you frustrated by the fact that people were more interested in your fashion photography than in your art or street photography? In Zaire, in 1974, they were saying that George Foreman was unbeatable and that Ali was over the hill. Documentary Expressionism: The Films of William Klein →, Documentary Expressionism: The Films of William Klein. The couple were Anémone and André Dussolier; it was her first commercial role and one of his first parts as well. That's the thing about photography. “His assistant pleaded, ‘But he’s come all the way from England!’”. In this excerpted portion of their conversation, he speaks about his remarkable career, now in its seventh decade, about dreaming in black-and-white, and his celebrated fashion photography. The idea of grotesque stylization wasn’t accepted. If you are a fan of William Klein, check out this nearly 2-hour interview with MADMuseum. Le Petit Magot, Armistice Day, Paris, 1968. Black Barn + White Lines, Island of Walcheren, 1952. An exclusive interview with photographer William Klein and a first-ever glimpse behind the scenes at his Paris studio. The photographer who revolutionised our way of looking at the city 60 years ago with his iconoclastic photo books on … About thirty girls were put in a white box with exaggerated perspectives. In … (1966), starring model Dorothy McGowan, and Muhammad Ali: The Greatest (1974), his cinema verité documentary on the fighter, among others. Host an Exhibition, Contact Us I was scared myself. William Klein is a man of two cities: New York and Paris. Aperture Magazine - September 15, 2015 When writer Aaron Schuman first arrived at William Klein’s apartment, five stories above Paris’s rue de Médicis, he was ushered into Klein… (1965-1966) and Stanley Kubrick. William Klein is an American artist and filmmaker known for his unconventional style of abstract photography depicting city scenes. To them. Apr 10, 2016 - "Almost everything is coincidence and luck and chance." Board of Trustees April 3, 2013 • Try to put him in a box and he'll find his way out. When I would do a session of fashion photographs my wife would ask, “What was the fashion like?” and I would say, “I have no idea.”. When the film was to be done, they were to produce Little Richard. WK: I thought it was kind of bullshit photographing a dress, because I couldn’t care less. They never did. (Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?) — J.R. Klein made the following remarks in a telephone conversation with Jonathan Rosenbaum in early November 1988. I was a primitive, and the photographs I was taking for myself were at the level of zero in terms of the evolution of photography. 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. “Everyone I showed them to said, ‘Ech! By the time William Klein made his first film Broadway by Light in 1958, he had already revolutionised one medium with his first photographic book, Life Is Good & Good for You in New York: Trance Witness Revels, published two years earlier. The only things that were salable or publishable at the time were fashion photographs. So when I went back to New York, I had an idea of doing a book. William Klein on His Film Work (1988 interview) Posted December 16, 2020. AS: I was just looking through some of your old magazines, and saw that the first body of work you published in Vogue was selections from Black and Light. Good Time Look. Jean-Luc Godard was there, it was a Saturday, and there was an art opening. See available photographs, prints and multiples, and paintings for sale and learn about the artist. so the Bible people put him under contract for all media work. william klein’s retrospective, the eyes of william klein at the quad cinema, runs until march 13, 2018. But once I had the opportunity to take the negatives and print them my way, I realized that I could use what I had learned—about graphic art, painting, and charcoal drawings, and so on—in my printing. William Klein (b.1928) was born in New York City. Interview with photographer, William Klein William Klein is an American-born French photographer and filmmaker noted for his ironic approach to both media and his extensive use of … Photography. From a 1989 catalog that I did for the Walker Art Center, Cinema Outsider: The Films of William Klein. View William Klein’s 1,299 artworks on artnet. Very few people know that he started out as a photographer. So it didn’t come out until ’69. WK: I dream about a million things. So I turned the bathroom in the hotel I was living in into a darkroom, and had access to a darkroom in my apartment. It’s incredible. [+] painter William Klein poses during an interview with AFP in Thessaloniki (Salonika) in northern Greece, 22 November 2007. He’s a prick, actually; I know him pretty well. After graduating early from high school, he began studying sociology at the City College of New York. William Klein. They reminded me a little bit of the Dutch houses in Pennsylvania, and I learned that Mondrian had lived there during World War I. I thought that there must be some relationship between what he saw there and what he was doing later, so I photographed them. Another sequence was like a B-movie thriller. Art. One day we took our car and drove to the nearby island of Walcheren, and I saw these barns. The people there were very friendly, and Godard was so, so nice, and also friendly. Thanks to Jonas Petermann for sending over the link! Why did Little Richard walk out of the film? WK: Yes, my wife inherited a house on the Dutch and Belgian frontier. In one sequence with the designer Alaïa I used Grace Jones and the model Linda Spierring; they played a scene from Marivaux with their dresses changing after every sentence. The rest were just part of a system, and the more I looked at their photographs, the more I felt that there weren’t any really interesting ideas behind them. Read the complete interview in Aperture magazine. William Klein is one of the twentieth century's most important photographers and film-makers and. William Klein is one of the twentieth century’s most important photographers and film-makers and in this interview for Tate Media, he discusses his experience photographing on the streets of New York, the challenges in publishing his first New York book and how he worked with filmmaker Federico Fellini. It was a film that actually made me some enemies in the fashion world (laughs). Interview. But nobody else was really interested in them. Memories. Well, there was this outfit that had the idea of hawking Bibles to unions for members who died, so instead of sending flowers they would send these thirty-, forty-, or fifty-dollar Bibles. Recently, Klein has been revisiting some of his first experiments with still photography, abstractions from the early 1950s, some of which were exhibited at his London gallery last fall. Distribution AS: Did you enjoy working for such magazines at that time, when they had an important cultural influence as well as being about fashion? People said, ‘What a put-down — New York is not like that. New York is a million things, and you just see the seamy side.” So I thought I would do a film showing how seamy New York was, but intellectually, by doing a thing on electric- light signs. With the fashion designer Jean-Paul Gautier, I did a fake documentary about street-singing, clichéd Paris in which he dressed a whole neighborhood of a few hundred people — in the marketplace, the whores and the pimps, everyone. Explore. It was something l did in my schizo-militant period, an agit-prop film. How beautiful they are, and what an obsessive, brainwashing message they carry. I had a big project I wanted to do around 1973. WK: Well, once I had the possibility of enlarging in a darkroom, I realized that the other photographs I’d been taking at the time were not as bad as all that. Then he wrote me a letter saying that the film was ten years ahead of its time, that he related to it very strongly, and that he felt we had a great deal in common. FAQ William Klein 1954-1955 Book Review - Duration: 6:58. The film-maker and photographer was born in the former, but has lived in the latter for more than 60 years, where I meet him at home. — J.R. William Klein on His Film Work. – William Klein (1990) In an interview with Klein (in his Aperture Monograph book), he shares how much American publishers abhorred his work: “In the 1950s I couldn’t find an American publisher for my New York pictures,” he says. Klein, eighty-seven, had been up until four thirty in the morning the night before and was having a rest. And I never got an answer! And there was another part in a gigantic sex shop where fashion was treated as an under-the-counter commodity — girls performing in peepshows, and so on. He turned to art at a young age as a way to escape from his peers. I was twenty-four or twenty-five, something like that, and when you’re twenty-five you can do that sort of thing; if you decide to do it, you just do it. The white press was scared to death and hypnotized by the bad mother. How Alice Rose George Shaped a Pivotal Era in Photography, A Blazing Suburban Gothic Imagines the American West on the Brink, The Belated Celebration of the Kamoinge Workshop, The Counterculture Collective Who Wanted to Save the Earth, Finding Trance and Transcendence in Vasantha Yogananthan’s Photographic Epic, How Photographers Responded to the Arab Spring, Aperture’s Best Photography Features of 2020, The Queens Photographer Building a Legacy for His Friends, An Exhibition in Tucson Looks at the Things We Leave Behind, Dawoud Bey on the Photography World, Past and Present. The French had these delusions of grandeur inherited from De Gaulle. I never got the money to make this film, but I had a government advance. WK: Yeah, I was participating in a show called Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in Paris (1953), and Alexander Liberman—who was the art director of Vogue, and then became the art director for all of Conde Nast—left me a note asking me to come and see him. I was just getting ready to do Mr. Freedom, and I wrote back immediately, saying that I was trying to raise money for my new film. I did this book on New York: black-and-white, grungy photographs. But Ali was something else. I thought that the other photographs that I was doing—the abstract photographs, the realistic photographs, the New York photographs, and so on—were more interesting. I’d like to do sequels to both Muhammad Ali and Eldridge Cleaver, you know. Click here to see an interactive timeline which details the history of Aperture. Get the best of Aperture in your inbox every day. Klein, always particular, is pleased with the quality of the thick, glossy paper which enhances the contrasts of his 1961 photographs. Anyway, I think it’s the first Pop film. His photos have been described as being a lyric combination of black humor, acerbic social observation and daring graphic invention.’ Photographers Tom Kiefer and Alejandro Cartagena. A month shy of his 85th birthday, the influential postwar photographer, filmmaker, painter and graphic artist sat down for an interview with WWD. When writer Aaron Schuman first arrived at William Klein’s apartment, five stories above Paris’s rue de Médicis, he was ushered into Klein’s living room by his assistant. I looked at the fashion magazines, and I was really convinced that I couldn’t do anything like what the fashion photographers were doing; I mean, I thought their technique was beyond my reach. 6:58. A lot of French critics said it wasn’t realistic. “By the tone of his voice, I could tell that he had just woken up, and was reluctant to join me,” Schuman said. I was very pleased by this letter. Paris Interview: William Klein William Klein’s approach to photography challenges the way people see the world. An excerpt from Aaron Schuman's interview with William Klein from Aperture Issue 220. All Work is Copyright Of Respective Owner, Otherwise © 2021 Aperture Foundation. William Klein: Black and white, of course. Kubrick saw Polly Maggoo in his private screening room. William Klein is one of the twentieth century's most important photographers and film-makers and. Tokyo is a major work by Klein, part historical document and part personal diary. This isn’t New York – too ugly , too seedy and too one-sided.’ Aperture, a not-for-profit foundation, connects the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work, the sharpest ideas, and with each other—in print, in person, and online. Shawnee Union 1,058 views. Explore. But when I looked more closely, I thought they weren’t so hot as all that, and the only photographers that impressed me were [Irving] Penn and [Richard] Avedon. So I did, and he said, “How would you like to work for Vogue?” And I said, “Doing what?” and he said, “Well, we’ll see. In his living room in Paris, William Klein flips through the new edition of his book, Tokyo, which just arrived from Japan. William Klein is one of the twentieth century's most important photographers and film-makers and. Cassius was the clown and didn’t have a chance. An excerpt from Aaron Schuman's interview with William Klein from Aperture Issue 220. I like Kubrick a lot, actually. William Klein is an artist known for his unconventional style of abstract photography depicting city scenes. William Klein is starting all over again. The original title was The State of the Union. He said reasonable and unreasonable things, but in my zeal to make a statement — and also because it was an Algerian government production — I censored the craziness. After an hour or so of thumbing through this Aladdin’s cave of trophies and treasures, Schuman heard Klein stirring in the rooms at the back of the apartment. But you know, fashion magazines at that time were the monthly dose of culture that women would get—theater, painting, exhibitions of all kinds—so those photographs fit in with the philosophy of Liberman. William Klein’s spoof of American patriotism is even more relevant today March 8, 2018. Afterwards, I went from New York to Paris on a boat. Interview with the photographer and film-maker William Klein in his Paris apartment in December 2012. I filmed Eldridge Cleaver for three days and three nights, practically nonstop, with hashish floating out the window. A great watch to check out over this weekend! Then, when I met with Liberman again, he asked to see some of the stuff that I was doing, and when he saw those photographs he decided to publish a little portfolio of them in Vogue, which was unusual because it was a fashion magazine. Jul 11, 2014 - Alongside his acclaimed photography work, William Klein has spent the last 50 years making probing documentaries and irreverent features. Mac DeMarco and Julian Casablancas on TikTok, Mozart, and Chick-fil-A The Quiet Sex Appeal of Andy Warhol’s Nudie Drawings And everybody is so thankful for this super spectacle. William Klein is one of the twentieth century’s most important photographers and film-makers and in this interview, he discusses his experience photographing on the streets of New York, the challenges in publishing his first New York book and how he worked with filmmaker Federico Fellini. William Klein is one of the twentieth century's most important photographers and film-makers and. Advertising I was interested in photography and in photographic ideas. You know, when I did the first film on Ali in 1964 he was Cassius Clay, and I called it Cassius le grand. I had a dream recently, and I still don’t know whether it was a dream or not. Apr 10, 2016 - "Almost everything is coincidence and luck and chance." Well, I was practically the only one from the media in his camp. AS: Before shooting any fashion photographs for the magazine, you also published a series called “Mondrian Real Life: Zeeland Farms” in Vogue in 1954. He was at the Algiers festival, saw what I was doing, and asked if I would do a film on him. You can be assistant art director or something.” We ended up deciding that I would do photographs, but I had no idea what kind of photographs I could do for Vogue. He was exhibiting his paintings, and people were saying, “Oh Jean-Luc, you have to come to my studio—I have some nice paintings to show you.” And he would say, “Of course!” which is so little like him. Art. This was the era in which Klein turned to moving images, having just made his first film, Broadway by Light, in 1958: he would become known for his fashion-world satire Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? Little Richard was down and out at the time, and he dreamed of being a black Billy Graham. Igor Mitoraj ... William Klein interview in Paris 2012 with John Stoddart - Duration: 4:58. I thought it would be a good idea to look at New York with this half-European, half-native eye and really do something to get back at this city that I thought really gave me a hard time when I grew up. On Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther (1970). On Broadway by Light (1958) and Orson Welles. It was Godard being a nice New Yorker. Klein, always particular, is pleased with the quality of the thick, glossy paper which enhances the contrasts of his 1961 photographs. For me, getting involved in that situation was like riding a bike blindfolded. Money Village Wife. Terms of Use. From a 1989 catalog that I did for the Walker Art Center, Cinema Outsider: The Films of William Klein. Find an in-depth biography, exhibitions, original artworks for sale, the latest news, and sold auction prices. In 1946 he joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany, where he won his first camera in a poker game. But now, if you want to win an argument about a film, you can always say it’s a comic strip reference. I washed the prints in the bathtub, and now these prints are considered “vintage prints”—they’re worth a lot of money. In the middle of the shooting he decided he wasn’t getting enough money; he took off, and the Bible men sent detectives all over the country to find him. WK: Why not? Aaron Schuman: Do you dream in black and white or color? The work of the 89-year-old filmmaker and photographer is still just as hard-hitting as when it was first created, especially his satire of American jingoism. You Can't Put A Headline On William Klein. I have about an hour of edited film where he is shown as totally irresponsible, which he later revealed himself to be. William Klein (American, b. April 19, 1928) is a photographer best known for incorporating unusual elements into his photographs and videos. AS: So how did you go from making abstract black-and-white images in the darkroom to taking photographs on the streets of New York? William Klein Celebrity Profile - Check out the latest William Klein photo gallery, biography, pics, pictures, interviews, news, forums and blogs at Rotten Tomatoes! - William Klein His 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. Staff Klein made the following remarks in a telephone conversation with Jonathan Rosenbaum in early November 1988. But at that time, I was on a binge after having done Festival Panafricain (1969). It was so precise, and everybody was the way that they should be. Privacy Policy Klein’s wife Janine with painted turning panels, Milan, 1952. Finally, Klein entered the room, eyes wide and shining. I went up to him and said, “Listen, I’ve just shot a film. William MP Klein is Associate Director of Behavioral Research in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute. 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