Citizen Sidel (Limited Edition)

William Klein & Jerome Charyn
William Klein & Jerome Charyn, 1996
Hardcover in a clothbound clamshell box
Citizen Sidel (Limited Edition): William Klein & Jerome Charyn
$ 12500.00

Image: 7 3/4 x 11 1/2
Signed and numbered by the artist


William Klein and Jerome Charyn each grew up Jewish in tough New York neighborhoods whose “great hero,” in Charyn’s words, “was always the local tough who never survived his own childhood… it was like Sophocles in the Bronx” (Interview, Center for Book Culture). Both would leave New York for Paris, then return and use their respective arts to explore New York’s mythical qualities. Klein sought a way of compelling his “photographs to reveal the harshness of life on the New York streets, and he realized that the way to do so was to cultivate in himself a killer instinct for pictures as ferocious as the primal emotions he wanted to betray in his subjects” (Frizot, 644).


The text by Charyn accompanying Klein’s photographs, in two columns in French and English, describes a day in the political campaign of Isaac Sidel, the police detective at the center of a critically-praised series of novels. Charyn is a writer who “has made [New York City] his universe and has turned it into something entirely his own” (Washington Post). In 1963 Klein “was named one of the most important photographers in the history of the medium” (McDarrah & McDarrah, 261). As the publisher notes in the laid-in booklet, these “photographs can not be sold as original prints elsewhere than in this edition.” Charyn’s full-length novel Citizen Sidel was published in 1999.