Fame, Fantasy and Photographs: The Pop Culture Moments Markus Klinko Defined

Addicted Art Gallery
6 min readNov 20, 2021
Behind The Scenes: Photoshoot with Lady Gaga, 2001, Markus Klinko

It’s hard to believe that celebrities are ordinary people. And photographer Markus Klinko is not about to convince you otherwise. “I love fantasy. I’m not interested in reality. I try to block it out.” In other words, there’s enough ugly, which is why he’s the choice of artists, musicians, actors and models doing a Derek Zoolander and wanting to be more than just ridiculously good looking. Markus’ high gloss, high glamour, high definition photographs catapult stars into the stratosphere where they belong. How does he do it? “I was born in front of the camera before I got behind it.”

Markus’s work is as familiar as Britney’s dance moves. His images have defined significant moments in pop culture. In fact, his modern take on seventies glow and excess has now culminated in a retrospective of his work, The 2000s, touring galleries globally. Remember Beyoncé in that bejewelled top throwing diva shapes on the album cover for Dangerously in Love circa 2003? That’s him. And his jeans, for that matter. After a needs-must type moment in the wardrobe department on set that day, Markus lent his denim so the celebrated derriere of Ms Knowles-Carter could shimmy into them and get the shot. But we digress…

Beyoncé, Dangerously in Love, 2003, New York

Through a combination of meticulous planning and wild spontaneity, Markus has been trusted to parlay the personalities of J.Lo, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Dita von Teese, Mary J. Blige and none other than the late David Bowie into iconic visions. In so doing, he gives the audience the answer to exactly how we’d envisage seeing these stars depicted if only we had the imagination. Needless to say, getting a celeb with a lot to lose to execute risky ideas, like stepping out of a vehicle naked (Dita von Teese) or rising boldly from an inferno as flames lash between your legs (Iman), takes confidence. Luckily, Markus has that in spades.

Dita von Teese, The Arrival, 2013, Los Angeles

“I was a classical concert harpist. I performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras and…

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