Produced in an edition of only 200 hand-numbered copies, each comes as a re-imagined, traditional 3-piece light-tight photo box, signed by the photographer and containing 10 original color archival photographic C-prints.
This is the first time in VISIONAIRE’s history in which the entire edition is made of a complete and collectible series of true photographic art prints. Here, with the collaboration of the artist, the collector receives the unadulterated version of the artwork, as originally intended by Klein – never a reproduction.
VISIONAIRE co-founder, Cecilia Dean explains, “VISIONAIRE 67 FETISH is the absolute embracement of photography to the fullest extent.What publication can actually deliver each copy as a collection of original photographs? In this edition, Steven has full and total control over how his images are shared with his audience. No third party is going to interfere with layouts, designs and text, or mediocre printing on thin, cheaper paper. It’s a way of taking it all back and paying homage to the art and craft of real photography and real photographic printing. Something that is tactile and tangible, not a blur on a screen.”
Thematically speaking, FETISH is a titillating mix of “altocalciphilia” — the fetish for high heels — “pictophilia” — the fetish for erotic pictures — and “autagonistophilia”—the fetish for being on camera, with its subject matter depicting suggestive, pseudo-sexual scenarios in which dangerous stilettos come to the foreground of erotically charged moments between male and female players. A musing on male/female dominance, the imagery is dark, sexy and smoldering—though more suggestive than explicit—in Steven Klein’s distinctive style and technical mastery.
With each image corresponding to its own particular paraphilic fetish, the viewer becomes silent voyeur to the sinister strut and abstracted allure of the scene, where, according to Klein, “I tried to create intrigue through the ridiculous and the macabre. For me it is a balance of dark humor and the study of sculptural objects.” This is an issue for foot-fetishists, shoe enthusiasts, and photography lovers alike. Klein explains, “The idea is the exploration of high heels, where they can play different characters in the photographs and films. They have strong personalities — some of them are killers.”
VISIONAIRE co-founder James Kaliardos says, “Steven is a visionary. There’s no one like him. His identity is so clear, and yet he has been able to traverse so many different styles and atmospheres while remaining distinctly himself. We really see him as a true photographer — not just a fashion photographer. His technical understanding and his interests aren’t confined exclusively to the fashion world and we think that always makes for more compelling photographic work. This series is a great example of that. It lies somewhere in the ambiguous in-between of art and fashion.” Dean adds, “Steven has been a constant presence in VISIONAIRE, contributing to nearly 1/3 of our editions over the past 2 decades. We are excited to devote an entire edition to his vision.”
As is the case with all of VISIONAIRE’s editions, the packaging extends the thematic concept: here with the fetishization of the art of photography itself —an amorous ode of sorts to the medium — replete with its beautiful C-printing and sleek and sexy, triple photo-box case. A nod to submission, binding, boundaries and bondage. Indeed, throughout its 25 year history, VISIONAIRE has been driven by photography and image-making, almost to the point of obsession. Here, the publishing mavericks return to the straightforward purity of these roots — celebrating the simple palpability of the classic photographic print.
In conjunction with the project, a unique signed large-scale photograph from the “FETISH” series by Steven Klein will be offered in Sotheby’s Photographs sale on Thursday October 5, 2017.
“Having long admired the trailblazing team at VISIONAIRE, we are honored to be hosting the launch of their 67th issue, FETISH, dedicated to the visionary photographer Steven Klein” Emily Bierman, Head of the Photographs department at Sotheby’s New York comments. “We are absolutely thrilled to be offering one of Klein’s exceptional photographs in our upcoming auction, a unique print made specifically for this sale.”
VISIONAIRE and Sotheby’s invite the public to the auction house’s galleries at 1334 York Avenue to view the pre-sale exhibition of Photographs, including Steven Klein’s prints and films in a specially-designed installation in celebration of the new edition.
“One of the most exciting aspects of this series” Dean explains, “is the fact that the 10 photos are stills from 10 films that will be part of the exhibition at Sotheby’s. They are short art films that add a whole other dimension to Steven’s work. James and I see this issue of VISIONAIRE as a perfect marriage of photography and film, which are our core interests.” Klein adds, “My process is somewhere between creating a scene for a movie and creating a painting.” He continues, “Ugliness and beauty are in the eyes of the beholder. People are fearless when they can understand the difference between making “pretty” pictures, and participating in making an interesting photograph.”
The latest edition, VISIONAIRE 67 FETISH Steven Klein, will be available for purchase ($1000USD) beginning on Saturday, 30 September at visionaireworld.com with a limited number available onsite at Sotheby’s New York.