William Klein at Palazzo della Ragione

William Klein Piazza della Ragione Milan

So, the William Klein exhibit at Palazzo della Ragione made my heart sing.

The accomplished painter, photographer and filmmaker launched his career in Milan with two exhibits in 1952 where he showcased abstract murals, and the rest was history.

What I loved is that it was divided up by cities: some of my favorite places, some of which I’m dying to visit . He’s in a sense a street photographer, an all of his photos captured a poignancy while being both fun and compelling , with just an underlying bit of grit.

The exhibit kicked off with images that comprised his 1956 book New York, published in 1956 book in which he captured street photography at its finest. Klein’s next stop was Rome, where he met Fellini (a fan of his New York book) who invited him to be his assistant for the film Nights of Caibiria. He then began snapping away in the Eternal City. As a former Rome resident who is never not astounded by the city’s beauty, it was wild to see how the city still looks the same and how the Rome he captured then still resembles the Rome I love and the Rome I see all over Instagram. He even did a high fashion shoot in the street for Italian Vogue which was unparalleled at that time; women dressed to the nines crossed the streets near Piazza di Spagna.

He traveled to Moscow (tied for top 3 on my travel bucket list) and published a book about the city in 1964, and then to Tokyo (also tied for top 3 on my travel bucket list) as well as gorgeous Paris, which always makes my heart sing.

It ended with some of painting and photography combos from the and then excerpts from his films and political documentaries.

I found Klein’s work profoundly inspiring and while I’m not a trained photographer, I couldn’t wait to hit Milan’s ever hopping streets and start snapping.

William Klein at Palazzo della Ragione; through 11 September;  website

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday: 9.30am – 8.30pm
Saturday and Thursday: 9.30am – 10.30pm


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