n°72/ Klein Black

June 2013


by Nathalie Azoulai


He is the superstar Conde Nast and luxury brands photographer (Chanel, Dior, Dolce Gabbana…). His fashion shoots are as famous as his portraits of worldwide icons such as Madonna, Brad Pitt or Natalie Portman. His main features: bondage, claustrophobic interiors, spilled blood, implied sexual violence. Steven Klein is provocative, sadomasochistic. He likes to disturb orders, to shoot pregnant men or to see Brad Pitt as a Jamaican. Okay but all fashion photographers deal with provocation, it's part of the job. So what makes the difference? Maybe his gothic shiny black, leather or latex-like, matching so well with red blood, and that you can always spot in his photos. “When I was in fifth grade, I fell in love with this girl who was in sixth grade. We went out for a while. I became obsessed with her and photographed her for many years. She had a very kind of American Indian look: she used to wear her hair in a long braid, had very dark olive skin, very big scorpion eyes—dark eyes. And she had a really distinctive fashion sense. She was the first one who showed me a European Vogue or French Vogue, before I had any idea what fashion was.” Let's take this so sweet explanation for granted.

 Steven Klein