Tuesday, 27 November 2012

William Klein at Tate Modern

I went to see the William Klein exhibition at the Tate at the weekend. Uber-observant readers may have  remembered his image of Jean Shrimpton in my selection of Vogue postcards. This show was less about his fashion photography - though it definitely had a presence there, such as in the amazing Simone + Nina, shoot for Vogue in 1960 or the Diana Vreeland inspired Qui ├¬tes-vous, Polly Maggoo?.

It was actually far more exciting than that. Instead there were large format images, blown up from his photo books based on New York, Paris, Tokyo and Rome, each crammed with energy. The exhibition opened with his Broadway by Light film, made in 1958, and celebrating the frenzy of New York through the brightness of its neon advertising signs and a pulsating jazz score. And then there was the room of films which kept me captive for ages. There was some Polly Maggoo, naturally, but also his footage of a pumped-up Muhammed Ali and a charismatic Little Richard Tutti Frutti-ing off the back of a moving vehicle. And then the above, Mr Freedom, which is surely counts as the most prolific use of the letter 'F' outside my flat. It's given me far too many ideas for new clothing options.

You clever people may have noticed something else. The exhibition is actually called William Klein + Daido Moriyama. The truth is that my head was so full of William Klein that by the time I got to the Moriyama section I didn't seem to have the energy to concentrate on anything else. So I may go back and try and see that, as well as the Painting after Performance show which I also skipped on due to lack of brain space. I still managed to get it together to buy a couple of postcards and a book in the shop though - phew!

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