Polaroids from fashion photographer Steven Klein to go under the hammer at Phillips


Auction house Phillips will celebrate the decades-long career of the renowned American fashion photographer with “Ultimate Steven Klein”, which consists of a selection of 24 unique Polaroids featuring Madonna, Prince and more.

The majority of works to be offered were created during editorial assignments for international publications like W, Vogue US & Italia, L’Uomo Vogue and Interview.

All shot with a Polaroid back attached to a film camera, these photographs acted as visual studies for what became his final published images, in which Klein often subverted our notions of glamour, fame, and beauty.

Some of the A-listers featured in Klein’s Polaroids include Brad Pitt, Angelia Jolie, Madonna, Prince, David Bowie, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Alexander McQueen.

“There is inherently a fragile nature to Polaroids and instant film compared to digital; this fragile-ness, this one of-a-kind exclusiveness creates an aura around the object of the photograph – a kind of fetish, a talisman. Talismans are magical objects. Carl Jung said, ‘The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.’ I think the viewer’s interaction with an image can be transformative as well,’” Klein said in a statement.

“Ancient art and image making were perceived as belonging to the magical realm. This project before you is a demonstration of conjuring images from the void through the transmission of Light. Art ultimately is a way to make sense of the chaos we enter as humans.”

Klein’s photographs will go under the hammer on September 25 during the “Photographs” sale at Phillips London.

Most Polaroids are expected to sell for between £3,000 and £7,000 (around $3,985 and $9,298), at the exception of a unique oversized diptych of his iconic “Good Kate, Bad Kate” covers for the March 2012 issue of W magazine.

Estimated to fetch up to £60,000 (around $79,694) , “Kate Moss Diptych” was created by Klein exclusively for ULTIMATE, which is a platform promoting and selling exceptional photographs, photo-based works and video via Phillips.

Aside from hitting the auction block, Klein’s Polaroids will also go on view in Phillips’ London galleries on September 19, marking the first time that this body of work is exhibited in Europe.

(Main and featured image: Steven Klein/Phillips)

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