William Klein, the pioneer of street photography

April 19, 2021 at 07:48 a.m.

 

Willian Klein is a multifaceted artist who is more recognized in Europe than in the United States, where he was born.

The photographs he took in the mid-1950s in New York They are among the best known and those that catapulted him to fame.

Klein is often cited in creative writing of photography along with Robert Frank as one of the fathers of street photography, one of those labels that tries to classify an artist that is difficult to put into a single category.

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But without a doubt it must be recognized that his unique images, grainy and constantly moving, perfectly capture the essence of New York, the heaviness of the crowds and the loneliness of the passerby.

Your book Life Is Good and Good for You in New York It is a classic that shows a series of emblematic photographs of the city, but in a more friendly way.

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The importance of Willian Klein as a photographer lies in the fact that he showed, long before so many contemporary American films, how the country looks through a windshield and how advertisements neon Flashing lights give a unique touch to each of its cities, among many other things.

The French tend to call Klein the photographer who hates the United States, but perhaps this is too extreme and a word that could encompass how this genius feels about that country is disappointment at various statements he has made to the press.

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Klein, who was born in 1928 in New York, has lived primarily in France since the late 1940s, when he arrived as a soldier and finally studied art there.

His artistic career began as a painter and for several years during the 1950s and 1960s he served as a fashion photographer for Vogue.

 

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Klein likes to say that he was a good fashion photographer because he was not really a fashionable person.

William Klein excelled in fashion photography, but what he was passionate about was portraying the streets and people, which earned him a very special place in the industry.

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He also made a large number of films among which stand out Who Are You, Polly Maggo, Mr. Freedom, Muhammed Ali the Greatest y Far from vietnam.

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Over the years, his photographs of New York, Rome, Moscow, and Tokyo have stood out, but he also experimented with making interesting photo collages and drawings.

Klein is a complex and complete artist who not only broke rules, but took risks when creating and that is what put him in the place where he is today: as one of the great geniuses of photography.

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