william klein photo - Florence 1992

18/01/2008


I was bowled over by this photo the first time I saw it. It was 1992 and I was fortunate enough to be studying in Florence. The poster was for the exhibition 'La Sala Bianca: nascita della moda italiana' at the Palazzo Strozzi. The photographer is William Klein.

There's something about the bold contrast of the lines, the black and white, and the blurry image (overexposed negatives?). Of course, there's also the iconic Vespa, and the way the woman in the white dress is looking back at the other woman who is fiercely striding past.

I bought the poster and took it back home to my student rooms, in an old 1900s carriage house on the greener outskirts of Antwerp. It was an interesting room, the same high ceilings as in our current house, with an arch in one of the walls, which had been turned into a bookcase. The walls were painted in full-out white, highlighting the vast space and the huge window... and then the poster pulled it together. After a wonderful year there, I then moved to a little flat in the city with a view of the river and the cathedral, with its old wood floors. When the time came to decorate the study, the bold black and white pattern of the crosswalk and the sash were reflected in the alternate black and white hardwood floor, - again - with white walls with a bold green desk for good measure. I spent too few hours in that study, in retrospect.

How times have changed... but the image remains, stored in my mind for times like this.

2 messages:

Fresco said...

Yes, it’s an interesting picture with all the b&w stripes going on.
It’s also ideal material for one of those bitchy greeting cards.
Insert “tekstballon”: ‘Look at her, the Queen of Sheba’ (or something)

Lula de Montes said...

I was thinking something along the lines of, you go girl!

Or the t-shirt that I received many aeons ago when I was a big annoying PITA which had one of those stickers that they paste on you at conventions reading: 'Hello, I am... the queen of the fucking universe'.

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