Whether it is through Lady Gaga’s chart topping music video Alejandro, the hundreds of fashion photographs for various magazines, or the “case studies” which helped in the marketing of Brad Pitt’s film career, Steven Klein is pulling strings at many turning points within current pop culture.
In an interview for the opening of one of his many exhibitions, which included his collaborations with Madonna (entitled X-Static Process, which coincided with the release of American Life back in 2003), he stated that he never wanted to be an art photographer, or an artist, but rather just wanted “to make images” – and that is exactly what Klein does best.
…[Klein] would make a great film director.
Pulse, which encapsulates a static tangled Madonna on a patient’s bed, and a heart which pumps irregularly with the beats, to its side, personifies a theme of death which is common to Klein’s work. Its medieval anatomical content, and study of what is alive, is truly unique, and reminiscent of the work of Tarsem Singh. It is for this reason among others that I believe he would make a great film director.
Essentially, his images are somewhat overpowering to the actual content; they embody a sexualised theme of death and do not allow much room for character development.
Klein would not be the first in his industry to make this shift.
I do however believe that his work is nearing perfection within its small instillation art and he could progress into a cinematic career. For me, a Klein film would include a plot like a David Lynch trip; it would have means with which to take its characters through the destruction of the American dream and most importantly could develop a new form of film noir post modernism.
A short film which he has made, Lara, Fiction Noir, accompanied his photography for Vogue in February 2009. It is a very short piece – a few blinks of the eye and it is gone. But there is something entirely unique in its beauty; a short ephemeral breath of fresh air. It is made with a grainy after effect which truly impersonates film noir’s gritty content, reshapes the meaning of femme fatale, and then provides a short show reel at the end of the same scenario; Lara pointing a gun, over and over side by side like an Andy Warhol exhibition.
…his work is nearing perfection…
The short, its content and sheer velocity, would make a fascinating film if it were developed further. His fashion orientated eye, artistic endeavours and general experience would be direct causes for his works probable success.
Klein would not be the first in his industry to make this shift. Tom Ford did most recently with the award winning A Single Man starring the Oscar nominated performance by Colin Firth and it was a move which was profitable on so many levels.
…a Klein film would include a plot like a David Lynch trip…
Considering that Klein, like Warhol, holds the idea that one can be an artist when not really being one in the classic sense, but rather the beholder and creator of a few provocative images, is a very pleasing thought. I for one hope to see Klein eventually make the shift to cinema, as I think his work would not only be unique and original, but also refined by his experience, knowledge of culture and exquisite artistic skill.
Images courtesy of Steven Klein