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William Klein
William Klein
William Klein

William Klein

Country: United States
Birth: 1928

William Klein (born in New York, New York, USA, on April 19, 1928) is a photographer and filmmaker noted to for his ironic approach to both media and his extensive use of unusual photographic techniques in the context of photojournalism and fashion photography. He was ranked 25th on Professional Photographer's Top 100 Most influential photographers. Trained as a painter, Klein studied under Fernand Léger and found early success with exhibitions of his work. However, he soon moved on to photography and achieved widespread fame as a fashion photographer for Vogue and for his photo essays on various cities. Despite having no training as a photographer, Klein won the Prix Nadar in 1957 for New York, a book of photographs taken during a brief return to his hometown in 1954.

Klein's work was considered revolutionary for its "ambivalent and ironic approach to the world of fashion", its "uncompromising rejection of the then prevailing rules of photography" and for his extensive use of wide-angle and telephoto lenses, natural lighting and motion blur. Klein tends to be cited in photography books along with Robert Frank as among the fathers of street photography, one of those mixed compliments that classifies a man who is hard to classify. The world of fashion would become the subject for Klein's first feature film, Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?, which, like his other two fiction features, Mr. Freedom and The Model Couple, is a satire. Klein has directed numerous short and feature-length documentaries and has produced over 250 television commercials. Though American by birth, Klein has lived and worked in France since his late teens. His work has sometimes been openly critical of American society and foreign policy; the film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum once wrote that Klein's 1968 satire Mr. Freedom was "conceivably the most anti-American movie ever made."

Klein was born into an impoverished Jewish family. Klein graduated from high school early and enrolled at the City College of New York at the age of 14 to study sociology. Klein joined the US Army and was stationed in Germany and later France, where he would permanently settle after being discharged. In 1948, Klein enrolled at the Sorbonne, and later studied with Fernand Léger. At the time, Klein was interested in abstract painting and sculpture. In 1952, Klein had two successful solo exhibitions in Milan and began a collaboration with the architect Angelo Mangiarotti. Klein also experimented with kinetic art, and it was at an exhibition of his kinetic sculptures that he met Alexander Liberman, the art director for Vogue. In 1966, Klein directed his first feature film, Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? He has since directed many others, including the cinéma vérité documentary Grands soirs et petits matins, the 1964 documentary Cassius the Great, re-edited with new footage as Muhammed Ali, The Greatest in 1969, and the satires Mr. Freedom and Le Couple Témoin. A long time tennis fan, in 1982 he directed The French, a documentary on the French Open tennis championship at Roland-Garros. He was awarded The Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography in 1999.

In 2012, Klein received the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award at the annual Sony World Photography Awards in recognition of his work in the field of photography.

Source: Wikipedia

 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Justyna Neryng
Poland
1981
Born in Poland in 1981, Justyna Neryng spent much of her childhood playing with her father’s cameras and dark room while roaming the forests of Chelmsko on the Czech boarder. As an adult, a mother and an immigrant to Britain, her photography has flourished into a substantial body of portraiture. Perhaps the most evocative of her works are her exquisitely emotive self-portraits that seem to carry the dark spirit of the forest from her childhood as well as potently baring the scares of modern womanhood. They show vulnerability and intimate eroticism as well as a deep sense of isolation and alienation. It is these portraits that have been most published and exhibited in both in her polish homeland and in the UK. More recently Justyna has begun to collaborate with her daughter Nell, on a project called Childhood Lost. Justyna currently produces her works in her adopted home town of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her daughter. Artist Statement: Childhood Lost is an autobiographical ,self portrait in a different body, ongoing project exploring the nature of portraiture and memory. As a single mother I have found myself exploring notions and representations of childhood. I see my daughter’s experiences of growing up in urban England conflicting with my own experiences of growing up in rural Poland.I must confess that my own childhood is not a source of many happy memories, perhaps the most resonant of which are the times I escaped to a world of fantasy played out in the forests surrounding my home village of Chelmsko. Watching my daughter grow up has in a sense held a mirror to my own memories of the past while experiencing her childhood dreams enacted through play, and story telling. I find myself in a strange place where I can experience my own memories as well as see my daughter’s childhood through my adult eyes. It is these notions I am seeking to explore with the Childhood Lost project. Interweaving childhood nostalgia with the stories and myths of my Polish childhood and those that I share with my essentially British daughter. The project is using these ideas to produce a series of portraits that evoke characters that populate this world we know as childhood. A court of characters from myth and dreams. The images are aesthetically inspired by portraiture from the Golden Age of Dutch painting. By drawing on paintings as inspiration I am hoping to give a timeless feel to the final images. Also key to the project is also the painstaking styling and prop building, which I am using to evoke these different persona played out by my daughter. I want to develop the series in to a substantial set of portraits of my daughter playing the characters of childhood, as well as producing more elaborate set pieces embracing a theatricality that would take the project to the next level. Subject to funding it would also be a dream of mine to be able to revisit the forests of my own childhood and produce work there. Justyna Neryng is a multi-award winning self-taught photographer born in Poland and now living and working in the United Kingdom. She spent much of her childhood playing with her father’s cameras and dark room while roaming the forests of her hometown. She specialises in portraits and nudes, her photography has flourished into a substantial body of portraiture. She is mainly known for her enchanting theatrical portraits of her daughter, a gallery of triumphal characters, captured on a neutral and undefined background, with their fantastic ‘uniforms’ and imperious look . These images are aesthetically inspired by portraiture from the Golden Age of Dutch painting. And her exquisitely emotive self-portraits that seem to carry the dark spirit of the forest from her childhood as well as potently baring the scars of modern womanhood. They show vulnerability and intimate eroticism as well as deep sense of isolation and alienation.Source: justynaneryng.com
Golnaz Abdoli
Iran/United States
1956
I was born in Iran and lived the first 18 years of my life there. The vivid memories of my homeland are its cold winters with snowcapped mountains, cars swerving on slippery roads, a small frozen pool, and me hoping that school would be cancelled; my mom preparing pomegranate for my siblings and I, and at the same time warming my hands with her warm breath. During the next forty years I enjoyed getting my degrees in Biology and Education in California, USA, raising my two children , and working in the field of education. I taught elementary school for 21 years. I picked up photography after I retired from teaching. I loved it immediately because it gave me a new voice to express myself and be creative. I found that photography and its many genres is a unique language with many dialects, and it can bring people from all over the world together. But now my love of photography has developed into a passion during the Covid-19 Pandemic. I appreciate it for helping me delve deep into my soul and understand myself better. During the lockdown photography has become my best friend and companion. Statement I approach photography of modern architecture as a visual puzzle that needs to be unravelled. My images are theatrical and mysterious. When I hold the camera, it awakens a sense of curiosity in me. I look up, ponder at the lines of steel coming together, light and shadow intertwining to form reflections, and I question how far into the space the lines travel, and the patterns repeat themselves. Reflections of outside buildings form mysterious forms and rhythms on the structural facade of modern architecture, inviting it to form a community with its surrounding. I appreciate the modern architecture for its beauty.
Virginia Hines
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Virginia Hines began photographing when, as a high school student, her parents (both newspaper editors) handed her a Pentax SLR - set at f/11, loaded with Tri-X - with a Honeywell flash, and sent her around town on "idiot-proof" assignments, shooting the likes of large garden vegetables, ladies luncheons, and presentations of jumbo facsimile checks. Scrupulously saving her $1.60 per hour minimum wage earnings, in due time she managed to buy her first camera, a Singapore-made Rolleiflex SL35 with a 50mm Zeiss lens. In college at Rice University she studied photography with Geoff Winningham and came to favor the 4x5 format. Encouraged by receiving "honorable mention" in a show judged by Garry Winogrand, she bought her second camera, a Calumet 4x5. In its rigid case this camera still sits in the back of her closet and provides an excellent step for reaching items on the top shelf. After graduation, awakening to the need to keep a roof overhead and food on the table, Virginia adopted the family profession and began working in publishing, putting serious photography aside for a long time. She spent five years in the Washington, DC, bureau of Fairchild Publications; later, in New York, she launched the first business publication focused on bioinformatics and genomics. As the internet gained traction, Virginia got an MBA from UCLA and started working at Yahoo, the dominant internet company at the time. In 2016, a workshop with Bruce Gilden was an inspiration and a wakeup call. Observing that the best photographers never stop pursuing artistic growth, Virginia began seeking out opportunities to shoot in the Bay Area and elsewhere that stretched her skills and comfort zone. She took more workshops, including from Harvey Stein, who became an important mentor. Also at this time, inspired by Gilden, Stein, and other photographers she admired, she began using digital Leica rangefinders. Their greater manual control echoes her affinity for the view camera, while the compact size better fits her current shooting style. Today Virginia lives in San Francisco and is a frequent contributor to Street Photography Magazine. Her photos have appeared in a number of print and online publications and she has been invited to join group shows in the US and Europe. Current projects include exploring Alcatraz from the perspective of Covid-era themes of confinement, isolation, and social control; The Loneliest Road, shooting along socially distant Western backroads; and China on the Move, images made from a moving train traveling across China's once-cultural, now industrial heartland that reveal the country's social and environmental challenges in fresh ways. You can follow her progress @vhines_photos on Instagram. Statement For me, the reason to make art is to help heal humanity's many self-inflicted wounds; to bring to light patterns and themes, commonalities and, I hope, compassion, through the unflinching observation of a wide swathe of phenomena. This vision motivates me to venture into the world with a camera and start chipping away at an impossibly immense goal. One of my photographer icons, Dorothea Lange, observed, "I realize more and more what it takes to be a really good photographer. You go in over your head, not just up to your neck." Following her advice, I jump in the deep end and hope for the best. I also feel it's essential for an artist to be a truth-teller; all the more so as culture bends away from authenticity toward the highly performative. Yes, there are no absolute truths, but I want to document my truth in photographs that may not be completely truthful in and of themselves but, through synecdoche, aim at conjuring a more universal meaning.
Manuel Armenis
Germany
1971
Manuel Armenis is an award winning independent street and fine-art photographer based in Hamburg, Germany, dedicated to documenting daily life. He was born in Mannheim (Germany). He studied at Icart, École de Photographie in Paris (France), and at the University of the Arts in London (England). Since graduating he has been working as an independent filmmaker and photographer. The emphasis of his practice is the realization of long-term projects with a focus on exploring the human condition within everyday and commonplace urban environments. Manuel´s work has been exhibited internationally in galleries in both solo and group shows. His photographs were published in leading contemporary photography magazines and online. He has received numerous awards, including 1. prize winner at the Sony World Photography Awards in 2018, and has been a finalist at the LensCulture Street Photography Awards in 2017 and at the Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography in 2019, among others. Manuel currently lives and works as a freelance photographer in Hamburg, Germany. About Diamond Days The quintessential trait of the mundane is, of course, its lack of spectacle. It is recognizable to us, familiar, in its plainness and with its non-event-character. Due to those alleged properties it is a world that gets all too willingly labeled boring and banal. At times we might even feel offended by its lack of sophistication. We believe to know the mundane well, but, unimpressed by its unremarkable nature, we usually choose to look elsewhere. And yet, as much as we try to ignore it, there remains this suspicion that we might not be able to evade it. An inkling that it might contain something that keeps us connected. The series Diamond Days is an exploration of the commonplace. We are shown snippets of the everyday, fragments of moments, ordinary situations. There is a playful touch to this world, a colorful lightness and warmth, a sense of joy; and yet, these unassuming landscapes seem to contain something else. Elusive. Layered. Ambiguous. A somewhat bleaker undercurrent which might pick up on the sensation of slight unease that we often associate with the ordinary. By carrying signs of human behavior and a way of living, the ordinary provides us with a rendering of the now. But it also contains references to a time gone by and challenges us to look back. It exposes our need to make sense of our lives and raises the tricky question of what could have been. It confronts us with the notion of missed opportunities and unfulfilled dreams. And it reveals our disposition to fill any void with nostalgia.
 Jonk
France
1985
Jonk discovers photography at the age of 11 when his parents send him for a language exchange to the USA, where each of the ten children forming the group lives with a different host family. The few souvenir pictures shot with the famous disposable orange cameras were his firsts. For the following six years, he travels each winter to a new family in a different state, and in the meantime upgrades his gear with a basic analogue camera. After having swapped it for a pocket numeric device, he realizes his first solo trip, at the age of 19. This trip to Barcelona changes his life, and he comes back with two passions that won't leave him: travels (he has since visited more than 70 countries) and urban art (street art and graffiti), whose discovery gave him his first photographic subject that still occupies him today. Living in Paris, he discovers urban exploration at the end of years 2000 through rooftops, subways and the city's unofficial catacombs. At that time, he finds another subject: documenting the unseen side of the city and invest in his first digital reflex camera, an APS-C. Climbing roofs to see her from the top, going at night in subway tunnels or spending whole days underground in the catacombs exploring the tens of kilometers of galleries looking for beautiful carved rooms: he finds in that activity a thrill, the adrenaline that he looks for in his life. These urban explorations, and his search for unseen graffiti, bring him to abandoned places, where graffiti artists often go to paint, to be alone and able to take time to make bigger and better paintings. After some time frequenting these artists, he starts himself to paint there and adopts the nickname “Jonk”. At that time, he also sticks his travel pictures on the walls in the streets. Visiting abandoned places looking for graffiti, he realizes the intensity of the atmospheres and the beauty of the spectacle of time passaging: rust, decaying and peeling painted walls, broken windows, Nature taking over create unbelievable, highly photogenic sceneries. For him, such sceneries feel like infinite poetry. Traveling, painting, sticking, photographing, roaming on roofs, metros and catacombs, a very time-consuming job don't leave him enough time to do everything. At the hour of choices, he drops the spray, the pot of glue, the height and the undergrounds to stay with the photography of lost places, even if he could not get rid of his nickname, symbol of his graffiti artist times, highly important to him. He then continues to travel, almost exclusively looking for abandoned locations to shoot, with or without graffiti. He upgrades his gear again with one, then two, full-frame reflex. Today, he has visited more than one thousand and five hundreds of them in around fifty countries on four continents. With time, his interest focuses on what appears to him to be the strongest in this vast subject of abandonment: Nature taking over. It is poetic, even magic, to see this Nature retaking what used to be hers, reintegrating through broken windows, cracks on the walls, spaces built by Man and then neglected, until sometimes guzzling them up entirely. This topic naturally imposed itself to him due to the ecologic consciousness that moves him since his youngest age and to the strength of the message it carries: the question of the place of Man on Earth and its relationship with Nature. She is stronger, and whatever happens to Man, She will always be there. In March 2018, he releases the book Naturalia on the topic and currently works on volume II for which Yann Arthus-Bertrand wrote the preface. In June 2018, at age 33, he quits his job in the finance to fully dedicate himself to this project. With this series, as a photographer Jonk tries to humbly contribute to make people aware of the critical ecological situation we are all in. Since, four other books were released. His work has been featured in prestigious paper publications (Der Spiegel, Corriere della Sera, Lonely Planet, Le Monde, GQ, Telerama…) as well as on prestigious web platforms (National Geographic, New York Post, Smithsonian, ArchDaily, AD, BBC, The Guardian…). He received various distinctions in recognized international contests with Honorable Mentions (International Photography Awards, ND Awards), nominations (Fine Art Photography Awards), Silver Awards (Tokyo International Foto Awards, Moscow International Foto Awards), places in shortlists (Arte Laguna Prize, Environmental Photographer of the Year, Royal Photography Society, Felix Schoeller Photo Award, Siena International Photo Awards), places of finalist (InCadaquès International Photo Festival, Nature Photographer Of The Year, Umbra Awards) and winner of the Chelsea International Photography Competition and the Earth Photo 2020 Photo Competition. His work has been part of many group shows across the world (Paris, London, Lisbon, Rome, Athens, Budapest, Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, New York…) as well as many solo shows in Paris, the main ones being in Paris 20th district City Hall “Salon of Honor”, at the OECD, the Forum des Halles and the Nicolas Hulot Foundation for Nature and Man. In October 2020, Jonk realizes his first solo shows abroad. The first one is the central show of Home Expo in Luxembourg, the most important Fair of the country. Consisting of 91 photos, this exhibition is also his biggest show to date. He simultaneously conducts five solos show in China for the Franco-Chinese Environmental Month. They take place at the Park View Gallery of the magnificent Design Society in Shenzhen, the French Institute of Beijing, the Kingold Century Center of Guangzhou, the Westred Art Museum of Harbin and the Parc Hongmei of Shenyang. Jonk had set a first foot in China the year before by giving a conference on his Naturalia series in Shenzhen. It was his second after a TEDx given in Paris in 2018. Several exhibitions of Naturalia are planned for 2021 and 2022. Naturalia: Chronicle of Contemporary Ruins As a child, I saw a wildlife documentary that marked my life. It focused on the melting of the ice caps and its consequences on polar bears' life. I still remember this bear that struggled to swim and find a piece of ice floe. It seems that "children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression." (Dr Haim Ginott). This vision marked me so much that during all my childhood, every time any of my parents did anything that seemed bad for the environment, it told them this sentence: «Watch out, you kill the bears!!" This ecological consciousness, that moves me since my youngest age, has little by little focused my interest on abandoned places reclaimed by Nature. She is stronger, and whatever happens to Man, She will always be there. Moreover, Naturalia: Chronicle of Contemporary Ruins asks a fundamental question: that of the place of Man on Earth and his relationship with Nature. Far from being pessimistic, and at a time when Man's domination of Nature has never been so extreme, it aims to wake our consciousness. Man builds, Man abandons. Every time for his own peculiar reasons. Nature does not care about those reasons. But one thing is for sure, when Man leaves, She comes back and She takes back everything. In his poem Eternity of Nature, brevity of Man, Alphonse de Lamartine writes "Triumph, immortal Nature! / Whose hand full of days / Lends unlimited strengths / Times that always rise again!" In her inexorable progression, She starts reclaiming the outsides of a Taiwanese reservoir (Picture 1) before infiltrating the insides of a Croatian castle (2) or a Belgian greenhouse (7). Then, She grows in the atrium of a Polish palace (8) or a Cuban theater (9) before invading a Montenegrin castle (10). Then, given more time, imprisons a Taiwanese mansion with her strong roots (20). The next steps? Collapse and burial. French poet Léo Ferré said "With Time goes, everything goes". So, when Nature and Time will have taken back what Man abandons, what will be left of our civilization?
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