Catching up with Issue 15 guest editor Tania Franco Klein


We’re featuring what our Issue 15 guest editors have been up to since the issue was released at Paris Photo in November 2022. Each of our 50 guest editors on the issue selected an image by an artist from our international open call to feature in a spread next to an image of their own in Issue 15. To see their work in the issue you can order your copy. Our guest editor Tania Franco Klein began her photography practice while studying for her Architecture BA in Mexico City, after which she pursued a Master's in Photography at the University of the Arts London. We’re catching up with her work and taking a closer look at her latest solo show which opened at ROSEGALLERY in Santa Monica, California on Saturday, February 18, and will run until 15 April 2023.

Tania Franco Klein, Pan, Fork, tube (self-portrait), 2022, courtesy of ROSEGALLERY.

In her newest project “BREAK IN CASE OF EMERGENCY” Mexican photographer Tania Franco Klein explores the outskirts of contemporary psychology using her signature warm rich light and bright colors. Franco Klein has developed a photography practice that is dominated by performance and art direction, often using herself as the camera’s subject. This series is no exception and shows the artist donning wigs and striking red lipstick. The strength of her pieces is the emotional universe that each of them builds. In this series, she poses the question, what does it look like when someone approaches their mental precipice, and how should it feel? Less interested in specific answers, these witty, ambiguous, and sometimes macabre works carry Klein’s fascination with catharsis.

Tania Franco Klein, Pan, fire, kitchen (self-portrait), 2022, courtesy of ROSEGALLERY.

The Power of Catharsis

Klein invites the viewer into a world where the characters inhabit a singular psychological plane but doesn’t adhere to any strict narrative. Depending on their arrangement, any number of stories could appear. A term coined by Aristotle, catharsis is the purification and purgation of emotions, especially pity and fear, through art. Catharsis as a muse has brought us images that are fabulously unreal, yet succeed in evoking the underlying unnameable feelings brewing inside the psyche of Americana. Think “relatably absurd.” Audiences are thrust into dyadic voyeurism, allowing us to experience the catharsis that comes with confronting our own emotions. Klein presents the Other’s fiction so artfully that it is capable of twisting emotions and steering us toward the absurd.

Tania Franco Klein, Rounded Mirror, Window (self-portrait), 2022, courtesy of ROSEGALLERY.

Klein’s willingness to search for the mysterious and the inexplicable, even for the taboo, is what makes her work unique. She is unafraid to explore the darker side of the human psyche, and this is evident in “BREAK IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.” With her use of forced perspective and disorienting shadow, she creates a world that is both familiar and strange, a world that is at once relatable and surreal. The series provokes us to delve into our own emotions and confront our own fears. A testament to the power of art to evoke emotions and explore the human condition, Klein’s newest project is not to be missed.

Tania Franco Klein, Eggs, fork, and flies (self-portrait), 2022, courtesy of ROSEGALLERY.