Self-Taught Photog Markus Klinko Doesn’t Care if You Think His Work Is Too Commercial

Self-Taught Photog Markus Klinko Doesn’t Care if You Think His Work Is Too Commercial

Markus Klinko

MARKUS KLINKO ONCE described himself as “the James Bond of fashion photography,” and there’s a bit of truth in that quote. Born in Switzerland of French, Italian, Jewish, and Hungarian ancestry, and blessed with a sinewy physique and charming demeanor, this international man behind the lens has landed in Houston for ICONS KLINKO, an eye-popping exhibit of phantasmagoric photos of such superstars as David Bowie, Britney Spears, and Mariah Carey, opening this weekend at Nicole Longnecker Gallery.


These days, Klinko describes himself as a portrait artist, and aspires to make a historical impact on the art world. “Klinko’s photographs have a wonderful iridescent quality that is both painterly and narrative,” says Longnecker. “His images capture not only the form of the subject, but their own creative essence.”

In his earlier years, Klinko was a concert classical harpist, practicing 10 hours daily to keep up his technique. “I reached my dream,” says Klinko, “but I was also mentally very tired.” In 1994, at age 33, a thumb injury compelled him to retire from music and pursue a new chapter in life as a self-taught photographer.

Klinko's 'Dangerously In Love' cover photo

Klinko's 'Britney, the Forest'

Before then, Klinko had never picked up a camera, and yet he soon found himself shooting some of the most beautiful people on the planet, including a then-21-year-old singer named Beyoncé, who needed a cover shot for her debut album, Dangerously In Love. During that shoot, legend has it Klinko suggested Beyoncé wear some denim to contrast the glimmering, spiderweb-like crystal top she had draped over her physique. Klinko loaned Queen Bey his jeans, and gamely finished the shoot in his skivvies. “It’s a totally true story,” says Klinko, who stands 6-foot-4, “and proof that I have Beyoncé’s butt!”

Klinko has since exhibited in dozens of galleries worldwide and is delighted to have representation in Houston. He says visitors can expect some surprises in ICONS KLINKO, including images from a new series called The Angel Factory that pairs breathtaking models with high-tech lasers and syringes used in plastic surgery. Meanwhile, Klinko takes great satisfaction in seeing his images for brand campaigns appear simultaneously in the pages of glossy magazines and on the walls of white cube galleries.

“The question ‘Is it art or is it commerce?’ becomes irrelevant at that point,” says Klinko. “It’s just everywhere, and that’s what it is.”

Art + Entertainment
Chapman & Kirby Launches Free Concert Series for Spring

Danny Ray and the Atlantic Street Band performs May 31 (photo from dannyrayatlanticstreetband.com)

CHAPMAN & KIRBY, THE premier event destination in Houston’s East Village, is thrilled to announce the launch of its Spring Music Series, kicking off on Friday, April 12. Chapman & Kirby has become synonymous with top-tier events and unforgettable experiences, many attended by celebrities both local and worldwide. With concert ticket prices soaring to hundreds and even thousands of dollars in the last year, this eight-week music series promises to be a welcomed opportunity to engage with live music for free, showcasing an eclectic lineup of talented acts.

Keep ReadingShow less

Sol 7 at Thompson Houston Hotel

ON THIS BEAUTIFUL spring day, celebrate the outdoors — and a host of new hot spots! Whether in the mood for healthful, fun and sporty, or elegant, pull up a chair at one of these tables.

Keep ReadingShow less
Food

Kara McCullers, Samatha Tucker, Pam Espada, Lindsey Kessinger, Kat Pressly, Reagan Bregman, Alexandra Rich

LET'S HEAR IT for the girls! Girls Inc, that is. A sold-out crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park's Union Station for a fun lunch hosted by Kat Pressly, wife to Astros pitcher Ryan Pressly, and her mom, Sue Rogers.

Keep ReadingShow less
Parties