As in his carefully choreographed paintings in which he used nude female models dipped in blue paint as paintbrushes, Klein's photomontage paradoxically creates the impression of freedom and abandon through a highly contrived process. In October 1960, Klein hired the photographers Harry Shunk and Jean Kender to make a series of pictures re-creating a jump from a second-floor window that the artist claimed to have executed earlier in the year. This second leap was made from a rooftop in the Paris suburb of Fontenay-aux-Roses. On the street below, a group of the artist’s friends from held a tarpaulin to catch him as he fell. Two negatives--one showing Klein leaping, the other the surrounding scene (without the tarp)--were then printed together to create a seamless "documentary" photograph. To complete the illusion that he was capable of flight, Klein distributed a fake broadsheet at Parisian newsstands commemorating the event. It was in this mass-produced form that the artist's seminal gesture was communicated to the public and also notably to the Vienna Actionists.
Harry Shunk; Addison Thompson
This image was conceived by Yves Klein and executed by Harry Shunk and Jean Kender. The image was reproduced by Klein in a faux newspaper, Dimanche, with the caption: "The Painter of Space Throws Himself Into the Void!" The image was photographed at 3 rue Gentil Bernard, at the corner of Maréchal Galleri in the suburb of Fontenay-aux-Roses, Paris, October 1960.