At the tail end of Milan Fashion Week, the industry's most dynamic design duo DSQUARED2 invited the industry and party-goers alike to celebrate the launch of Steven Klein's debut monograph book with an intimate signing. Vivid in colour while possessing qualities of the hyperreal and overtly sexy, the director, videographer and photographer Klein is attached to some of the most defining images of our time. Combining brutal strength with fetishism and power is his signature formula that's been used to create a world of his own to which we are all invited, all of which will be displayed on the printed page in his debut Phaidon-published monograph.
Throughout its 450 pages - all served with extra bite - the publication unfolds like a film narrative covering the gore and the great while referencing scenes of suicide, self-harm, murder, gender fluidity, car crashes and contortion all in one. Housing 280 photographs, Klein's singular vision has never appeared more precise, blurring pre-existing borders with his radical perspective.
With an introductory essay by Mark Holborn, a distinct visual language that is at once eerie, violent, irritating and disturbing while also being miraculously beautiful and compelling in its narrative comes to life. 'To open this book is to enter criminal territory' writes Holborn, naturally exciting the reader while encouraging a questioning of its surreal nature, just as Klein's photographs question the world around us.
The image-maker's series Death Kit YSL sets the tone throughout, as Holborn uses this YSL collaboration to open and close the monograph. Made during the enforced lockdown, the work acts as an example of how a singular image builds into one cohesive narrative and, according to Holborn's introduction, is 'a murder-filled movie'.
'We are presented with a fiction that is simultaneously of our time, a response to the exterior world, and a display of the working of his imagination. We are offered a psychological map, if not a fully declared self-portrait.' - Mark Holborn
For £150, this hardback could be yours, its content spilling into the scene of your living room, bedroom or wherever you wish to keep. Available now on Phaidon.com