In “Blame it on Rio,” Steven Klein’s third collaboration with Madonna for W, the photographer asserts himself once again as a storyteller with an eye for the dark side of glamour. This time, we follow the pop star as she enacts a steamy narrative shot behind closed doors in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Klein has shot more than his share of iconic W portfolios, including “Domestic Bliss” with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (2005); “The Naomi Diaries” (2005) with Naomi Campbell and “American Idols” with David and Victoria Beckham (2007).
This month, a number of Klein’s photographs for W are on view at the International Center of Photography as part of the exhibit “Weird Beauty: Fashion Photography Now.” (The exhibition also features frequent W contributors Craig McDean and Juergen Teller.) “He’s clearly been on a fantastic creative streak,” says ICP Curator Carol Squiers, who says she admires Klein’s “fearless approach in combining ugliness and beauty.”
“I love the way he fills the frame so much with patterns, activity and background detail,” she adds. “And he has a fantastic color sense, both in the way he uses colors that he makes artificially and in more realistic looking color.”
While Klein’s photographs have gained worldwide attention, Klein himself has long kept a famously low profile. “I am a private person not an exhibitionist,” he has said. “I am standing behind the camera in order that I can extend myself in front of it.”
Klein grew up in Rhode Island and studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. He lives in New York City and Bridgehampton, New York.
Visit Steven Klein’s website here.