William Klein is a legendary American Fashion and Street Photographer based in Paris who is regarded amongst the great pioneers of genre of the Street Photography.
Renowned for his framing and exceptional compositions, his empathy with his subjects, and his up-close approach to photographing subjects on the street, Klein’s career has spanned throughout the ’50s to the present day, including stints as a Vogue fashion photographer. His extraordinary signature fashion work often incorporated his models amongst busy and sometimes chaotic street scenes that included locational shoots in New York, Paris and Rome.
Kleins’ provocative approach and his exceptional natural rapport with his models lead to the creation of iconic images that challenged the conventional boundaries of photography at the time and introduced new techniques into the field including the use of telephoto lenses to capture his subjects from a distance so as to create a more free and ‘anonymous’ effect in his style of composition.
In October 2012, The Tate Modern presented an important retrospective dedicated to both William Klein and Daido Moriyama that featured Klein’s re-interpretations of his own work in the form of hand-painted overlays of some of his iconic contact sheet images that were scaled-up to large and very striking wall-mounted images.
The film below captures Klein’s charming and fiercely iconoclastic personality at interview with a fellow legend in the form of documentary film maker Alan Yentob, known for his groundbreaking early BBC portrait of David Bowie entitled Cracked Actor.
I have had the pleasure of visiting Paris many times over the last 40 years. And ever time that I’m in Paris the iconic bookstore Shakespeare and Company is one of my first stops. Even if you have never been to Paris, it’s likely that you have seen photos of the historic shop. Sadly, during […]
Latest update on what’s happening (Aug 28th 2020): Next open air, outdoors, off-line SpokenWord is Monday 31st August. Keep an eye on the events on our Facebook page for details closer to the time or sign up for the mailing list (click on the blue stamp on the righthand side of this page). Spoken World […]
Physical walls (tokens) of symbolic value in the best areas of the city. Places talk much more than people, revealing the truth lying beneath space design, the dominant principles ruling attitudes and behaviours. Whether money is exchanged or not. Places inform actions and activities. Wifi and nature. An architect’s street for a change. Waiting for […]
Seeing the city as a work of art is a curious way to view a city, I found it an interesting exercise. This book represents quite a masterful look at London, Paris and Vienna, with a splendid raft of photographs, illustrations and quotations. To the greater or lesser extent that I know them, they are…
Brassaï’s close-ups of graffiti carved and painted on Parisian city walls were first seen in the Surrealist magazine Minotaure in 1933, however he would continue to photograph images of graffiti for the next three decades, culminating in the publication of the book, Graffiti, in 1961. With this project, ‘the eye of Paris’ as he was called […]
AU BONHEUR DES DAMES is a novel by Emile Zola set in the world of the department store in nineteenth-century Paris. It covers the period approximately from 1864 to 1869 and it’s the eleventh novel in Zola’s Rougon-Macqart series. From Zola’s original manuscript for Au Bonheur des Dames When Zola was writing Au Bonheur des […]
Not many sports can trace their origin as decisively as basketball: Fans know the first game was played on December 21, 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts. But few Americans are aware that the oldest surviving basketball court is in Paris, inside an unassuming building at 14, rue Trévise in the 9th arrondissement. The entrance, in a […]
In 1971 I traveled to Paris for the first time. I mentioned finding a Balzac-like pension where I could stay for a couple of months that was around the corner from a former Hemingway apartment on rue Notre Dames des Champs and within easy walking distance from rue de Fleurus, the apartment of Gertrude Stein […]