The Upshot of Downtime

William Klein’s Rome

In 1948 , New Yorker William Klein moved to Paris to study with artist Fernand Leger, who sent Klein out into the streets to add an edge to his work. His grainy images, making heavy use of a wide angle lens and overexposed negatives, were admired by contemporaries including Vogue’s Alexander Liberman, who commissioned him to return to New York to shoot what would become the Nadar prize-winning Life is Good & Good for You in New York. In 1956 Klein traveled to Rome to assist Fellini on the set of Nights in Cabiria. When the film was delayed, Klein did what he did best, launching into the city with his wide angle lens and creating 1959’s Rome. This year is the 50th anniversary of the publication of the book, available now in a new revised edition from Thames & Hudson.

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