, 2022-11-17 05:30:00,
“I’m everything that my pictures aren’t,” insists Steven Klein. After his three decades exploring endless, disturbing dark nights — days too — of the soul, I’m not sure how to take that declaration. From the outside, Klein’s life and work appear to be one. He looks like the 21st century equivalent of an 18th century libertine: the huge dogs, the stable of glorious stallions, the Bridgehampton estate (blessed with the name West Kill Farm) with its all-black interiors heavy on hardware feel like outward expressions of one of fashion’s most provocative and uncompromising aesthetics. One word: power. In person, Klein is slight-ish, soft-spoken, with curly hair and a goatee. But there is still no disconnect from the work. Dress him in a velvet frock coat and a pair of britches and I don’t see Francis Dashwood kicking him out of the Hellfire Club anytime soon. Spend some time paging through the hefty 450-page review of Klein’s career that Phaidon has just published, and you’ll see what I mean.
The book is not a conventional chronological survey. Images from some of Klein’s most memorable editorial work — including portfolios for W magazine such as Brad Pitt’s “Fight Club” (1998), Brad and Angelina’s “Case Study #13″ (2005) and Tom Ford’s “Valley of the Dolls” (2005), all of which have attained a peculiarly iconic status in the fashion world — are scattered throughout, seemingly at random. Dead centre is the “redhead” portrait…
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