William Klein

Photographer, Visual Artist

1928 –

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Who is William Klein?

William Klein is an American-born French photographer 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. He was ranked 25th on Professional Photographer's list of 100 most influential photographers.

Trained as a painter, Klein studied under Fernand L├ęger 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.

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Born
Apr 19, 1928
New York City
Also known as
  • Bill Klein
  • William R. Klein
Spouses
Ethnicity
  • Jewish people
Nationality
  • United States of America
  • France
Profession
Education
  • City College of New York
    Sociology
  • Sorbonne
    (1948 - )
Lived in
  • New York City
    (1928/04/19 - )
  • Paris

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"William Klein." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Oct. 2021. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/william_klein>.

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