Steven Klein (American, b.1965) is a celebrated American photographer who won acclaim for his photography style, which has been described as eclectic, conceptual, sexual, and subversive. Klein's love for photography began in 1975 at the age of 10, when he built a dark room in his parents' basement. He began to take tons of photos of a fashionable sixth grader he deemed his muse. He credits her for introducing him to the world of fashion. After high school, Klein studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. After graduating in 1985, he decided to focus full time on photography. Klein has said that the artists Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) and Francis Bacon (English, 1909–1992) have greatly influenced his photography style.

His first photography job out of school was shooting a Christian Dior mascara ad campaign in Paris. Klein worked on a wide variety of advertising campaigns for high-end clients like Calvin Klein and Dolce & Gabbana. In 1994, he photographed his first Vogue portfolio titled Nude Study with models Jaime Rishar, Shalom Harlow, and Nadja Auermann. Klein's first solo photography exhibit, Steven Klein, took place in 1997 at the Staley-Wise Gallery in New York City.

One of Klein's most famous pictorials ran in the July 1999 issue of W magazine and featured Brad Pitt portraying his character from the movie Fight Club. His shots of David Beckham for Arena Homme Plus in 2000 are the first to position the soccer player as a fashion icon. His shoot for the same magazine in 2001 featuring a bloodied, tough-looking Justin Timberlake turned the singer's image from "boy band singer" into "leading man" overnight. Klein went on to shoot one of Alexander McQueen's first ad campaigns in 2002. Later that year, the Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland exhibited a retrospective of his work up to that point. In 2003, Soho's Deitch Projects in New York City debuted X-STaTCI PRO=CeSS, a collection of photos that Klein collaborated on with Madonna. Madonna later used those images on her Re-Invention tour. In 2005, W magazine released the infamous photo shoot featuring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a retro, mid-century married couple mired as marital distress. The photos, meant to promote the movie i>Mr. and Mrs. Smith, were intimate and provocative and lead to intense speculation about the actor's personal relationship. More recently, Klein shot the video for Lady Gaga's "Alejandro" in 2010 and ad campaigns featuring Rihanna in 2011. Always in demand by today's hottest and most influential tastemakers, Klein continues to inspire, challenge, and provoke the senses with his work.

Timeline

1962
Born in Rhode Island
Lives and works in New York, NY

Exhibitions

2009
Extreme Beauty in Vogue: Palazza della Ragione, Milan
2009
Weird Beauty: International Center of Photography, New York
2008
POL. aR. Oid Vered Gallery, New York
2008
Fashion in the Mirror: The Photographers' Gallery, London
2007
Steven Klein: Vered Gallery, New York
2007
Secret Ceremony: Galleria Cardi, Milan Italy
2007
Face of Fashion: National Portrait Gallery, London, England
2006
"Fashion Portraits," Vered Gallery, East Hampton, New York (solo)
2005
Case Study #13, Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, California (solo)
2005
X-STaTIC PRO=CeSS (Madonna), Brancolini Grimaldi, Florence, Italy (solo)
2005
Superstars: From Warhol to Madonna, Kunsthallewein, Vienna Austria
2005
Passionate Image: The Body in Advertising, Steven Kasher Gallery, New York, New York
2005
Passionate Image: The Body in Advertising, LIGHTBOX Gallery, Los Angeles, California
2005
"From the Source, Fashion Photographs," Corkin Shopland Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
2004–2005
Steven Klein/Madonna X-STaTIC PRO=CeSS, Camera Work, Berlin (solo)
2004
X-STaTIC PRO=CeSS (Madonna), NRW Forum Kultur Und Wirtschaft, Dusseldorf, Germany (solo)
2004
X-STaTIC PRO=CeSS (Madonna), Schirmer Mosel, Germany (solo)
2004
Fashion Passion: One Hundred Years of Fashion, OCA Pavillion Museum, Sao Paolo, Brazil
2004
The New Gothic: Art for the Tortured Soul, Cokkie Snoei Gallery, Rotterdam, Netherlands
2003
Nueva Tokyo Film Festival LaForet Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2003
AMFAR Portfolio Curated by Jack Pierson, Cheim & Read Gallery, New York
2003
X-STaTIC PRO=CeSS (Madonna), Deitch Projects, New York (solo)
2003
Archeology of Elegance Fashion Photography 1980 - 2000, Munich
2002
The Fourth Sex, Stazione Leopoida, Florence
2002
Copy, Ruth Horowitz, New York
2002
The Holiday Show, Staley Wise, New York
2002
JT Leroy, Deitch Projects, New York (solo)
2002
Steven Klein American Beauty, Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland (solo)
2001
a dog and pony show, Staley Wise, New York
2000
A Century of Fashion 1900 - 2000, Staley Wise, New York
2000
W/The Show, Robert Miller Gallery, New York
1999
Visionaire 27 Movement, Visionaire Gallery, 11 Mercer Street, New York
1999
Hillside Forum, Hillside Terrace F Tower, 18-8, Sarugakucho, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
1998
Photographs, Carla Sozzani Gallery, Milan (solo)
1998
Addressing the Century:100 Years of Art and Fashion, London
1998
International Festival of Fashion Photography,New York
1998
H20 Fashion Exhibition, Howard Greenberg Gallery & H20 Company, Japan
1997
International Festival of Fashion Photography, Soeul, Korea
1997
I Paparazzi, Robert Miller Gallery, New York
1997
Verv, Up & Company, Exhibition and launch for Very Magazine, New York
1997
Summer Pleasure, Staley-Wise Gallery, New York
1997
Photographer's Gallery, London
1997
Best of Fashion Photography, Festival International de la Photo de Mode, New York
1997
Photographs, Quartier 206, Berlin (solo)
1997
Photographs, Staley-Wise Gallery, New York (solo)
1996
The Crossing, Fashion Photography in the 90's, Parco Gallery, Japan
1996
Best of Fashion Photography, Festival International de la Photo de Mode, New York
1995
Color of Fashion, Staley-Wise Gallery, New York
1995
Best of Fashion Photography, Festival International de la Photo de Mode, New York
1994
A Positive View, Saatchi Gallery, London
1994
Fashion: Evolution / Revolution, FotoFest, Fifth International,Festival of Photography, Houston