Extreme Glamour

Steven Klein: A Decade of Photo Mischief

Steven Klein’s photography is glamorous, erotic, and at times downright dangerous. In his audacious shoots for Vogue, W and GQ—among many other magazines—and bold ad campaigns for brands including Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana and Alexander McQueen, he has practically reinvented the fashion image over the last decade, bringing a delicious air of menace to the world of high-gloss luxury. Klein’s penchant for the extreme—from vampiric fantasies to crime-scene mockups, almost always with an exaggerated, homoerotic sheen—has made him a go-to person for celebrities looking to confound tired expectations. In 2004 Brad Pitt donned a tattoo suit and blue face-paint for a series of Klein portraits in L’Uomo Vogue, while Madonna writhed around on a rickety bed in the photographer's 2003 film X-STaTIC PRO=CeSS and slipped on boxing gloves and lingerie for his Dazed & Confused cover story in 2008. Such playful lasciviousness is not always to everyone’s taste—Klein’s spring 2004 Dsquared campaign was dismissed as too racy by many US magazines—but the raw power and commercial success of his aesthetic is indisputable. To celebrate the magnificence of his editorial work in the past ten years, Klein has created a new video piece, Your Hallucination Is Now Complete, to be exhibited at the celebrated Hyères Festival of Fashion and Photography. The video—stills from which we present today—is a hi-octane visual sprint through his most iconic images, and will be on show from April 30 at Villa Noailles, Hyères.

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Conversations (1)

  • Don Stewart
    Steven Klein might be a lot of things but he is never boring. Love it.

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