Melvin Sokolsky (August 29) and William Klein (September 10) passed away within weeks of each other this year; sadly, these events were met with a cacophony of crickets. That’s a shame, because in addition to being two of the greatest fashion photographers of the 1960’s and ’70’s, each man also directed some interesting films. And while Sokolsky generally stuck to his area of expertise, Klein branched out to establish a strong body of socially oriented documentary projects.
As a devotee of popular imagery, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the best of their work. Plainly, it’s amazing! Sokolsky and Klein were tremendous artists who made radical impressions during a time when innovation in their field was not just encouraged, it was demanded.
An amusing fact: Sokolsky is also the father of noted cinematographer Bing Sokolsky, ASC.
I read a great deal and am reasonably well-informed. Nonetheless, I discovered their passing by accident, which, as if we needed more reason to despise them, says something discouraging about the state of our mainstream media. Sokolsky and Klein should’ve been lionized for what they created. Instead, they disappeared almost without a trace.
Seek out their work and pour through their rich legacy. You’ll quickly notice how profoundly they continue to influence the ways in which we imagine the stylish, exciting days during which they flourished.