Press | Phillips

26 October 2023




An Exclusive Selection of Polaroids Personally Chosen by Steven Klein from his Archive


To be Unveiled in Paris and Showcased in London this November, in Advance of the Live Auction in London on 21 November





LONDON – 26 OCTOBER 2023 – Phillips is pleased to announce ULTIMATE STEVEN KLEIN. This exclusive curation of 18 unique Polaroid works from the celebrated photographer’s archive was personally chosen by Steven Klein for Phillips’ live Photographs auction in London on 21 November. Showcasing Klein’s distinctive approach to photography as a means of storytelling, this exceptional grouping offers a window into the intimate relationship between photographer and subject. Taken between 1989 and 2007, the Polaroids feature striking portraits of icons in fashion, music, and film, including Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Madonna, Prince, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and Brad Pitt, among others. The group will be unveiled in Phillips’ Paris galleries from 6 to 10 November, before going on view in Phillips’ London galleries from 15 November until the live auction in London on 21 November.


Yuka Yamaji, Head of Photographs, Europe, said, “Following the success of our collaboration with Steven for ULTIMATE in 2020, we are thrilled to once more offer at auction an exclusive selection of his one-of-a kind Polaroids, which provide an intimate insight into not only his celebrated career but also his creative vision that subverts our notions of glamour, fame, and beauty. Steven’s Polaroids are a time capsule, capturing fashion, music, and film icons of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s, as well as defining moments in pop-culture history.”


Steven Klein, said, “I think of Polaroids as channels to different dimensions and dreams, as if each Polaroid was a window to an image that awaits my discovery. Magic is just that, discovery of the unseen. They are important moments of the subjects that inspired me, each a part of the process of building by visual language.  A chronological record of my career and the people that I’ve photographed. I am very excited to have my second collection of Polaroids with Phillips.”


Steven Klein stands out as a highly innovative artist working in photography and film, thanks to his captivating body of work that has garnered international recognition. His photographs have graced the covers of prestigious magazines such as Vogue, i-D, Interview, and W, making him a sought-after figure in the industry. Notably, Klein has directed prominent advertising campaigns for renowned fashion houses like Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, and Dior. By subverting the 1980s and 90s aesthetic of meticulously groomed supermodels, Klein’s distinctive approach to image-making has had a lasting impact on the world of fashion photography.


Steven Klein has said of his relationship with the Polaroid, “The Polaroid can teach you, like it taught me, about color and rendition of space. The Polaroid color was always better than film color. I owe a lot of my career to Polaroid and the making of Polaroids because they helped me to create. Without Polaroids, I wouldn’t have been able to have done so many of the works that I have now accomplished.”




Before Steven Klein entered the world of photography, he was formally trained in fine art at the Rhode Island School of Design with a focus on painting. A visionary and creator, Klein has made unique contributions to the arts throughout his nearly four-decade career and consistently pushes the boundaries of visual expression through his image-making. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of Photography, Klein received the prestigious Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography (ICP) in 2014. His work has been exhibited globally, gracing prominent venues such as Deitch Projects, Gagosian, and the Guggenheim in New York. Furthermore, his work is featured in several public collections, including those of the National Portrait Gallery in London, the V&A in London, and the ICP in New York. The artist’s body of work has also been celebrated through his first monograph Steven Klein, published by Phaidon in 2022.





Surveying Steven Klein’s long-term relationship with instant photography, the Polaroids in ULTIMATE STEVEN KLEIN span three decades and are intimate works of art. Created between 1989 and 2007 prior to his transition to digital photography, the works on offer include three different formats of Polaroid prints: Type 100, 4x5 and 8x10. Furthermore, three works in the selection are composites of two Polaroids: Klein would shoot multiple Polaroids and then combine them to create a wider scope while maintaining proximity to his subjects. Most works in this curation were created during editorial assignments for international publications, including W, Vogue US, British Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue and GQ. This dedicated offering is a visual chronicle of popular culture and presents Klein as a storyteller who captured era-defining moments, challenging our perception of his iconic subjects.






 Paris Preview: 6 November - 10 November 2023

Paris Preview Location: 46 Rue du Bac, Paris 75007

London Preview: 15 November - 21 November 2023

London Preview Location: 30 Berkeley Square, London, United Kingdom, W1J 6EX

Auction: 21 November 2023, 2pm GMT

Auction Location: 30 Berkeley Square, London, United Kingdom, W1J 6EX

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Phillips: where the world’s curious and bold connect with the art, design and luxury that inspires them. As a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st century works, Phillips offers dedicated expertise in the areas of Modern and Contemporary Art, Design, Photographs, Editions, Watches, and Jewelry. Auctions and exhibitions are primarily held in New York, London, Geneva, and Hong Kong, with representative offices based throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Phillips offers a regular selection of live and online auctions, along with items available for immediate purchase. Phillips also offers a range of services and advice on all aspects of collecting, including private sales and assistance with appraisals, valuations, and financial planning.

Visit for further information.


*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium; prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium.


PRESS CONTACTS:            

LONDON – Katie Carder, Head of Press and Corporate Communications, Europe

LONDON – Anna Chapman, Press and Strategic Partnerships Officer