“Pin-sharp”, “ultimately lyrical”, “gently sadistic” are words that usually come to mind when describing Steven Klein’s work.
Klein is praised for his ability to make powerful – rather morbid – visual statements. According to artistic director of Condé Nast Anna Wintour, he is the type of photographer who if “you give him a dress, [he will] give you a girl in a dress with a robot in the garden”.
Dennis Freedman, creative director of W, says that Klein’s work”is very much in sync with the idea that things are never what they really appear”.
In an alluring and darkly glamourous style, Klein has taken an unprecedented twist with the latest The Macallan’s Masters of Photography project with 10 individual images and a short film.
“This project has given me chance to create a film and a special edition bottle and box. This was a true merging of artist and commerce, where I had great support from the team at Macallan in this endeavour,” he said.
“My intention was to examine a world standing still through a moving camera. Typically with consumption of alcohol, there is always an abundance of movement. I thought what if it had all stopped for a moment and I could take a closer look at it. The idea is the perception of time. I used one of my favourite designers, Thom Brown, for the characters because I believe his clothes are bridged between the past and future in a great way.”
Since his debut with a shoot for Christian Dior in 1985, the photographer has shot for Balenciaga, Alexander Wang, Louis Vuitton, Roberto Cavalli, Chanel, Emporio Armani, Elie Tahari, Tom Ford and Dolce & Gabanna. Subjects who have appeared in front of his lens include the likes of Kanye West, Rihanna and Madonna.
With the theme of Time Captured, Klein’s shots for The Macallan will highlight the importance of a moment in time for both photography and whisky making, which could be defined as the delicate art of capturing history in the form The Macallan’s fine single malt.
“Steven brings a new, visually disruptive and remarkable piece of art to the Masters of Photography franchise,” said Ken Grier, The Macallan’s creative director.
“Our commitment to the extraordinary is reflected in a restless spirit of dynamism, creativity and mastery to create the ultimate spirit. We bring together things which can appear ordinary and transform them into something incredible. We create, define and disrupt moments in time.”
Klein’s art works are complemented by a rare, peated The Macallan whisky representing the smokiness of the industrial setting in which Klein shot. Though it’s not aged, the tipple comes from a selection of incredible casks, giving it a sweetness, mystique and vibrancy unseen before in any whisky by The Macallan.
The entire box set is contained in a stunning black case containing the limited-edition whisky, the photographer’s signed print, a horse’s head bottle stop as well as a range of tools to create serves and flavour experiences inspired by the Roca Brothers of El Celler de Can Roca in Spain.