If you don’t know William Klein, go see this exhibition. If you already know his works, go see this exhibition.

Most images are usually displayed together, in large clusters, giving a cinematic feel, which is exactly what describes his style, considering he is also a film maker. Well known for documenting the social scene of a dark New York, Klein approached his subjects naturally, pure instinct, raw energy, blending with the crowds, having fun along the way, getting close and closer to the people until he got the grimace, the indifference, the grinning and the frowning.

 

Like the boy pointing his gun at the camera with a staged angry face. The story is that he actually asked the boy in the picture to look tough and you can see this selected shot that got famous along with another two photos, on a painted contact sheet. Selection played a crucial role.

There is a lot of blur in his frames and random compositions. He didn’t care for his photos to be sharp and clean. He only had two secondhand lenses to photograph his fashion editorials for Vogue, but he was amused and just played with that, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From painting to street photography, from magazine covers to fashion aesthetics and politically involved films, he played with everything, always experimenting, breaking all the rules, doing the so-called anti-photography and going against convention, and it worked.

William Klein
Photographs and Films
C/O Berlin Foundation Amerika Haus
Hardenbergstraße 22–24
10623 Berlin
www.co-berlin.org