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William Klein
William Klein
William Klein

William Klein

Country: United States
Birth: 1928 | Death: 2022

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

Seydou Keïta
Mali
1921 | † 2001
The great African portraitist Seydou Keïta lived in Bamako, Mali from 1921 to 2001. A self-taught photographer, he opened a studio in 1948 and specialized in portraiture. Seydou Keïta soon photographed all of Bamako and his portraits gained a reputation for excellence throughout West Africa. His numerous clients were drawn by the quality of his photos and his great sense of aesthetics. Many were young men, dressed in European style clothing. Some customers brought in items they wanted to be photographed with but Keïta also had a choice of European clothing and accessories - watches, pens, radios, scooter, etc. - which he put at their disposal in his studio. The women came in flowing robes often covering their legs and their throats, only beginning to wear Western outfits in the late 60s. Seydou Keïta worked primarily with daylight and for economic reasons took only a single shot for each picture. Seydou Keïta was discovered in the West in the 1990s. His first solo exhibition took place in 1994 in Paris at the Fondation Cartier. This was followed by many others in various museums, galleries and foundations worldwide. He is now universally recognized as the father of African photography and considered one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. "It’s easy to take a photo, but what really made a difference was that I always knew how to find the right position, and I never was wrong. Their head slightly turned, a serious face, the position of the hands... I was capable of making someone look really good. The "photos were always very good. That’s why I always say that it’s a real art." Seydou Keïta, Bamako, 1995/1996 © André Magnin From en.wikipedia.orgSeydou Keïta was born in 1921 in Bamako, although the exact date is unknown. He was the oldest in a family of five children. His father Bâ Tièkòró and his uncle Tièmòkò were furniture makers. Keïta developed an interest in photography when his uncle gave him a Kodak Brownie with a film with eight shots in 1935, after returning from a trip to Senegal. In the beginning Keïta worked as both a carpenter and photographer, taking first portraits of his family and friends, later of people in the neighborhood. He learned photography and how to develop from Pierre Garnier, a French photographic supply store owner, and from Mountaga Traoré, his mentor. In 1948 he set up his first studio in the family house in Bamako-Koura behind the main prison.From www.gallery51.comConsidered to be one the important precursors of African photography, Seydou Keïta was born in Bamako (Mali) in 1920. Like many of his contemporaries, nothing particularly predestined him to become a photographer. His uncles bring back a camera from a trip to Senegal, and the young Seydou is fascinated. He starts photographing his relatives and discovers a deep passion for this art. Although he makes furniture for a living, he spends much time with Pierre Garnier who has his own studio. There, Seydou Keïta learns the secrets of the trade and soon realises that there was an enormous demand for individual pictures. This drives him to open his own studio in 1948. Up until then, whites had had a lot of trouble convincing local population to have their pictures taken, because they were so afraid to lose their identity. With Keïta it's different: he is one of them and permits them to choose their own picture that will be left for the close family. From then on, we see the opposite effect: people queue up to have their pictures taken. This is to become the great specialty of the malinese artist. Slowly he develops his own style, in which one finds accents of Mountaga Kouyaté's work, an intellectual that fought a bitter personal battle for the independence of Soedan. To look their best, that is the sole desire of people in front of Keïta's lens. Keïta even gives them costumes, accessories and furniture to further enhance their appearance.Men, women and children, all look perfectly elegant. If we look beyond the aesthetics of the black-and-white pictures, Seydou shows us a portrait of Malinese society in full transition. Finally Seydou is to become the country's official photographer, and will stop working in 1977. Nevertheless, it will be many years before his work is noted at the famous "Festival of African Photography". Source: www.seydoukeitaphotographer.com
Thomas James Parrish
Based in Sydney, Thomas is an Australian photojournalist and travel photographer driven by a passion for exposing and championing environmental and humanitarian issues that exist in today’s societies, all over the world. Thomas’ work explores current social issues; combining his passion for creative storytelling with a desire to inspire positive social change. Working closely with local NGOs, charities and communities, this work has taken him across the world where he has founded projects and campaigns with refugees, religious groups, environmental agencies and education programs. His photographic journey began in 2016 when he spent 6 months documenting the north of India as part of his project ‘Oh India’ which, after first being released as an exhibition in Sydney, has since become a photobook and has raised over $10,000 for a remote education program in West Bengal. In 2017 Thomas travelled across Italy documenting the refugee crisis, working closely with volunteer groups and NGOs to tell the stories of those seeking asylum for his ongoing project ‘A Voice for a Refugee’. After spending a year studying at the Speos International Photographic Institute in London in 2018/19 and obtaining his diploma in professional photography, Parrish then went on to document the Camino del Norte, an 850km pilgrimage across Spain, as a way of raising money through sponsorship and prints sales for Amazon Watch as part of his project ‘Camino for the Amazon’ which aided in the recovery program for indigenous communities most affected by the fires in the Amazon in 2019, raising over $4,000. Thomas has since returned home to Australia where he recently released his latest body of work ‘A Place Called Manly, A Place Called Home’, which celebrates the everyday beauty of his hometown in Sydney Australia and was exhibited in Paddington, Sydney. Thomas’s work has featured in multiple international photographic publications such as Suitcase Magazine, Lodestars Anthology, Australian Photography Magazine, Dodho Mag, Stade and Ernest Journal and more. Statement “With my work I try to emphasise our responsibility as humans to care for the world, and to express the importance of identity, through engaging storytelling. I hope I ensure a positive impact for humanity and the natural world and that my photographs can act as an instrument for inspiration and change.”
Gregory Dargent
France
1977
Gregory Dargent is a French musician and photographer born in 1977 in Argenteuil. A graduate of the Strasbourg Conservatoire, he has an international career as a musician (electric guitar and oud) as well as a composer. His creations have taken him all over the world, from the Berlin Philharmonic to a small place in the Itabuna Church in Brazil, from the Doha Oud Festival to the "Poisson Rouge" in New York, from the Jazz Festival in Cairo to the auditorium of Warsaw Radio. Somewhat belatedly fascinated by photography he discovered it accidentally the day of his 38th birthday, anchored in the temporality of film, committed to the abstraction of black and white and advocating its subjectivity, he created in 2018 the Book H., published by Saturn, his first photographic work. It is an echo in images to the disc H (contemporary trio setting to music the French nuclear tests in the Sahara). This book tells his feelings and his personal awareness during 3 short trips around the seventeenth ground zero French atomic explosions in the 60s, in Reggane and Tamanrasset, Algeria. His book is acclaimed by the press (Christmas selection Telerama for the book + CD, L'Humanité, L'Oeil de la Photographie, L'Interval, "Par les temps qui courent" on France Culture) and became the subject of his very first exhibition as part of the collective exhibition "Le Rêve d'un mouvement" in Paris in January 2019, alongside, among others, Gilles Roudière, Damien Daufresne, Stephane Charpentier and Gael Bonnefon. This exhibition then travelled to Studio Spiral (Grenoble) in March/April 2019, at Retine Argentique (Marseille) in April/May 2019, Sharjah Art Foundation (E.A.U), Galerie VU'(Paris), Dar Abdelaatif in Algiers and will be on view at Studio Baxton (Brussels) in 2020. He is selected in 2019 as a "young talent photographer in residence" as part of the Festival Planche (s) Contact of Deauville for which he will create a new exhibition, L'Echappée, and is currently working on his next personal projects, mixing photography, video super 8 and music. The first project is about spirituality and poetry in Haiti, "Black Venus", the second one is about the feeling of underground life mixed with ancient mythologies in Cairo (with musician and photographer Frederic D. Oberland).
Davide Monteleone
Davide Monteleone is a photographer, researcher, and a National Geographic Fellow. He works on long-term project using photography video and text, exploring the relation between structures of Power and individuals. Known for his specific interest in the post-soviet countries, he published five books: Dusha, Russian Soul in 2007, La Linea Inesistente, in 2009, Red Thistle in 2012 and Spasibo in 2013, The April Theses, 2017. His projects have brought him numerous awards, including several World Press Photo prizes, and grants such as the Aftermath Grant, European Publishers Award and Carmignac Photojournalism Award. He regularly contributes for leading publications all over the world, and his projects have been presented as installations, exhibitions and screenings at festivals and galleries worldwide including the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Saatchi Gallery in London, MEP in Paris and Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. He is engaged with educational activities, regularly lecturing at universities and teaching workshops internationally. Italian photographer born in 1974, member of VU’ Agency since 2017, based in Zürich (Switzerland) After beginning engineering studies, David Monteleone quickly turned to journalism and photography. Holding a Master research in Art and Politics from the Goldsmiths University in London, he first worked as an agency correspondent in Moscow from 2001 to 2003. Since 2003, Davide Monteleone’s documentary photographic writing has enabled him to carry out, between Italy and Russia, numerous editorial assignments and regular collaborations with prestigious international press titles (TIME Magazine, The New Yorker, National Geographic, etc.). He also develops long-term personal projects focused on social issues and conflictual relationship between Power and individuals. Particularly committed to documenting the survivals and new aspirations of the post-Soviet world, he published his first book Dusha, Russian Soul in 2007, followed by La Liena Inesistente in 2009, Red Thistle in 2012, Spasibo in 2013 , « The April Theses » in 2017 and « In The Russian East » in 2019. In 2014, he goes beyond the borders of the post-Soviet territories and initiates a work – still in progress – about geopolitical, socio-economic, and environmental impact of the New Silk Roads (“Yi Dai Yi Lu”) and thus about Chinese expansion on several continents. Exhibited in many countries, his work has received prestigious awards, among which several World Press Photo awards (2007, 2009, 2011), the Aftermath Project award (2010), the European Publishers Award for Photography (2011), the European Photo Exhibition Award (2012), the Carmignac Prize for photojournalism (2013), the Asia Society Fellowship (2016) or the National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship (2019-2020).Source: VU' l'agence
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