William Klein is best known for his innovative techniques and pioneering approach to fashion photography and photojournalism, exemplifying beauty and the grotesque all within wide-angle and telephoto shots. Taking the models out of the studio and onto the streets, his revolutionary techniques pioneered a new vision. His 1956 book, Life is Good and Good for you in New York: Trance Witness Revels is acclaimed as one of the most important photo books of all time. Capturing the rough and tumble of daily life on the mean streets of New York and harnessing the explosive energy of the city through juxtapositions and bold captions, Klein’s brutally honest images and uncompromising vision caused a major a sensation.
“I came from the outside, the rules of photography didn’t interest me… there were things you could do with a camera that you couldn’t do with any other medium… grain, contrast, blur, cock-eyed framing, eliminating or exaggerating grey tones and so on. I thought it would be good to show what’s possible, to say that this is as valid of a way of using the camera as conventional approaches.”