(Sarah Moroz’s article appeared in the New Yorker, 11/6; via Pam Green.)
William Klein is a man of two cities: New York and Paris. The film-maker and photographer was born in the former, but has lived in the latter for more than 60 years, where I meet him at home. Now an octogenarian – and quick with a quip – he has lived for four decades in the same apartment, perched above the Jardin du Luxembourg. In his living room, books are heaped on the floor and on shelves, along with maneki-neko lucky cats, tribal masks and a stray baseball.
Klein has a gravelly voice and a playfully ornery manner. I ask him about his most recent body of work, a five-year photography project for Sony. Part one, Brooklyn + Klein, spans images of painted murals in Williamsburg, lounging bikini butts on Coney Island, dancing Hasidic men at a Jewish wedding, a Jamaican pride parade, and neon signs for halal meats.
As Klein used a digital camera for the first time, the pictures are flat and bright. “Everything can be set to automatic, which is what I did. I took a lot of photographs. For my [original] New York book, there was the physical problem of being out of film.”