William Klein + Daido Moriyama
Until Sun Jan 20
© William Klein
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Wed Oct 31 2012
Oh please, can we just put Moriyama aside? I mean no disrespect to the Japanese photographer, whose images are at worst grainily fascinating – monochrome prostitutes, commuters and buildings – and at best transcendently beautiful. I'm just not sure what he's doing here.
Seven rooms of William Klein, the octogenarian expatriate New Yorker whose six-plus decades in Paris don't seem to have lessened his fervent anger with his homeland, is enough to blow your mind several times over. From the elegant jazz-backed visual symphony that is 'Broadway By Light', Klein's first, 12-minute film, to the sarcastic delights of his later feature, the fashion-world satire 'Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?', he demonstrates that he can dress them up and hang them high as stylishly as any magazine editor. His early abstracts and late artfully vandalised contacts testify to his background as a painter.
But it's the photographs that get you high. Every one, from 1955 New York to 1960s Tokyo and 1990s Paris, is glorious, vital and impassioned. If you haven't heard of Klein, it's because this longtime Vogue photographer – the man who filmed Muhammad Ali just as he burst into glory, whose short film was praised by Orson Welles as the first film that made colour necessary – is even better at biting outstretched hands than at taking pictures. But anger and adrenaline make for great photos. The angles are odd, the frames sometimes blurred. The people burst through in all their raw glory: Klein may be pissed off with the fact of them, but he is too strong a personality to need to crush anyone. Growl, gurn, grin or hold a gun to your head – it will still be his image. And his show.