Photographer Markus Klinko’s images will instantly transport you back to the 2000s.
Klinko’s journey into photography began in 1994, following a few-years stint as a professional harp player. Since then, he’s gone on to photograph the likes of Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, David Bowie, Kanye West, Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson, and more. He has created some of the most recognizable album covers in recent memory as well, including Beyoncé’s Dangerously in Love, Mariah Carey’s The Emancipation of Mimi, and David Bowie’s Heathen. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of his initial collaboration with the late Bowie, Klinko’s most esteemed work will be on exhibition in a series of art gallery openings in Munich, Toronto, Vienna, London, and Dubai.
His images defined the early-aughts aesthetic. “The people that really love the 2000s are generally people who were very, very young at that time. Now they’re in their 30s. And they’re very melancholic about that,” Klinko says.
Among the moments that defined 2000s pop culture was the rise of Beyoncé as a solo artist. When Klinko shot the then Destiny’s Child star, she was in a transitional moment in her career. “She was about to launch her solo career, and my task was to really envision who Beyoncé was about to become, and to anticipate the image that wasn’t really her quite yet,” he reminisces. To this day, his photographs of Beyoncé are still some of the most revered images of her.
Klinko is also the man behind hundreds of images of Bowie for his 2002 album, Heathen, widely considered one of the most successful albums of Bowie’s career. Klinko says, “Bowie is not only obviously one of the most photogenic and incredible artists ever, but he was so direct and personable the way he collaborates with other artists and the people that contribute to his projects.”
Klinko’s photographs of Bowie are now represented by several dozens of leading art galleries around the world and are increasingly in high demand by fans and collectors. In honor of the occasion, Klinko will release two never-before-seen images of Bowie, in both color and black-and-white limited editions.
Even after 25 years in the industry, Klinko claims he is still “just getting started,” adding that he’s interested in NFTs and other ways to push the boundaries of photography. He wants his art to continue to evolve, and he’s still looking for what aesthetic he can capture next.
Klinko’s exhibition will continue on in January 2022 at OstLicht Gallery in Vienna, Austria.
From Harper’s Bazaar US