William Klein’s Pictures Will Still Knock You Out

Vince Aletti at The New Yorker:

“I went to town and photographed non-stop, with literally, vengeance,” William Klein wrote of the book of New York City street photographs that he made in 1954 and 1955. He added, “I saw the book as a tabloid gone berserk, gross, over-inked, brutal layout, bullhorn headlines. This is what New York deserved and would get.” The book in question, “Life Is Good and Good for You in New York,” was sensational when it appeared, in 1956, in France–it was too unconventional for any American publisher to touch. Klein, who learned while he worked, loved amateurish accidents–lopsided compositions, heads lopped off, blur, grain, flare. “Life is Good” remains one of the most exciting and idiosyncratic photography books of the past century, and a rival to Robert Frank’s “The Americans” as the most influential.

more here.