Stickball, West 108th Street, New York

William Klein American

Not on view

In 1954 Alexander Liberman, renowned editor of Vogue, invited Klein - then a young Paris-based American painter beginning to experiment with photography - to come back to New York to be an assistant art director. Klein's homecoming was bittersweet; the magazine reneged on the job but Liberman committed to publishing a book of photographs about the artist's return to the city. Roaming the streets for eight months with a bag full of free film, Klein produced the gritty, chaotic snapshots of raw city life collected in Life Is Good and Good for You in New York (1956), one of the most famous and least seen books of the 1950s. As Klein later wrote, the book was a "tabloid gone beserk, gross, grainy, over-inked, with a brutal layout [and] bull-horn headlines."

Stickball, West 108th Street, New York, William Klein (American, New York 1928–2022 Paris), Gelatin silver print

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