Profile: Steven Klein

Steven Klein, the enfant terrible of fashion photography, always seeks to go against the grain. He is today unquestionably the photographer who most consistently challenges the smooth hegemony with creative resistance. His fashion series in the pages of American and French Vogue create an area of turbulence in the landscape of magazines.

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The photographer addresses the breakdown of American society with elaborately staged images, pictures in which colour and light are not deployed as tools of easy seduction. His dark, baroque allegories unfold page after page, embodied by a model who in Klein’s work does not simply pose, but acts. The photographer’s predilection for the image in movement, narration and performance have led him to collaborate on several occasions with Madonna, Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis and Tom Cruise in what are now cult fashion series for the American magazine W.

Steven Klein studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design before beginning his career as a photographer in Paris. He works regularly for American Vogue, Vogue Italia and W, and has worked on numerous advertising campaigns, notably for Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein and Dolce & Gabbana.

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