From Beauty to Horror

Steven Klein is definitely no ordinary photographer. Having left a mark on popular culture, while being responsible for brand campaigns (from  Alexander McQueen and to Nike), a regular contributor to magazines (Vogue and i-D) and even directing music video-clips (such as Lady Gaga’s ”Alejandro”), his success in the fashion business and pop industry is undeniable, so what brings him to the art world with solo shows in galleries and museums worldwide? We visited his current exhibition at CWC Gallery in Berlin to see how his photographs go beyond magazines and TV screens.

Steven Klein took the idea of fashion photography and celebrity photography to a different level. He built his own world with an unique aesthetic and a style very easy to recognize: The images are always very cinematographic with a kind of erotic sense that is almost surreal. He is an artist that combines horror and beauty, creating tales of violence blended with sexual desires.

The images are carefully staged, like a painting (he studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design) and every detail looks quite planned. His erotic world, bathed in blood and botox, is full of references to fetishes. It might be shocking, but is always beautiful.

Making art through Pop Culture? Teaser of the music video Alejandro, directed by Steven Klein.

Valley of Dolls by Steven Klein
Image from the series “Valley of Dolls” by Steven Klein.