William Klein
[Photographer, b. 1928, New York, lives in Paris.]

 Sometimes, I’d take shots without aiming, just to see what happened. I’d rush into crowds—bang! bang! ... It must be close to what a fighter feels after jabbing and circling and getting hit, when suddenly there’s an opening, and bang! Right on the button. It’s a fantastic feeling. 
 My photographs are the fragments of a shapeless cry that tries to say who knows what... What would please me most is to make photographs as incomprehensible as life. 
 I thought New York had it coming, that it needed a kick in the balls. When I returned to New York, I wanted to get even. Now I had a weapon, photography. 
 I wanted to do something altogether vulgar. 
 I have always loved the amateur side of photography, automatic photographs, accidental photographs with uncentered compositions, heads cut off, whatever. I incite people to make their self-portraits. I see myself as their walking photo booth. 
 I have always done the opposite of what I was trained to do... Having little technical background, I became a photographer. Adopting a machine, I do my utmost to make it malfunction. For me, to make a photograph is to make an anti-photograph. 
 I didn’t relate to European photography. It was too poetic and anecdotal for me... The kinetic quality of New York, the kids, dirt, madness—I tried to find a photographic style that would come close to it. So I would be grainy and contrasted and black. I’d crop, blur, play with the negatives. I didn’t see clean technique being right for New York. I could imagine my pictures lying in the gutter like the New York Daily News. 
 It was a period of incredible excitement for me—coming to terms with myself, with the city I hated and loved, and with photography. Every day for months I was out gathering evidence. I made up the rules as I went along and they suited me fine. (On 1954-55 in New York City) 
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