American photographer William Klein’s wide-ranging career has encompassed groundbreaking snapshots, iconic fashion photos, experimental proto-Pop film and painted murals. William Klein is a photographer, artist 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.
Particularly notable, Life is Good and Good for You in New York is a photographic diary of 1950s New York life for which Klein won the Prix Nadar award. This series depicts street scenes which represent a dramatic departure from the formal photographic conventions of the preceding era. William Klein later produced similar studies of Rome, Moscow and Tokyo.
William Klein’s work is considered revolutionary for its ambivalent and ironic approach to the world of fashion for Vogue magazine and for his extensive use of wide-angle and telephoto lenses, natural lighting and motion blur. His innovative approach was cultivated during time spent studying in France at the Sorbonne, Paris, under notable artists such as Fernand Leger.
William Klein has directed numerous short and feature-length documentaries and feature films like Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? as well as the documentary Grands soirs et petits matins, the 1969 documentary Muhammad Ali: The Greatest, and Mr. Freedom and Le Couple Témoin.
William Klein’s contributions have been recognised with numerous prestigious awards including the Prix Nadar, the Hasselblad prize and the Medal of the Century from the Royal Photographic Society, London. William Klein was ranked 25th on Professional Photographer’s Top 100 most influential photographers. Klein has exhibited extensively in Tokyo, Amsterdam, London, Paris, San Francisco, Milan, Madrid, Moscow, New York and Cologne in prominent institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art.