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July 2024

Patriotism = Free Speech
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HUSTLER: The Photographers
Featured Article

HUSTLER: The Photographers




Apart from Larry himself, few people had a greater impact on HUSTLER Magazine than the photographers, including wunderkind Matti Klatt. The German-born uber-talent persevered through the decades, driven by dedication and indifferent to the trappings of success. In 2015, he retired to Cuba to paint. Modest to a fault, you would never guess that Matti was the motherfuckin’ man back in the day. Here for the first time ever is his incredible, indelible story.

HUSTLER: How did a nice German boy like you end up working for Larry Flynt?

MATTI KLATT: Growing up in this little village in Germany, my father had subscriptions to American magazines like Playboy, Look and Life. I was the only kid who had access to that world— this was back in the ’50s. Then we moved to Hamburg, and every month I would buy the new issue of Playboy. So I guess that was when the seed was sort of planted, although I never consciously pursued a career as a nude photographer.

At the time, all the top photographers were in Europe. I worked with the best of the best in Hamburg, then moved to London, where I lived for three years. And that’s where I met Suze Randall. She was a model at the time, but wanted to be a photographer, so I worked with her on how to do lighting and stuff.

We tested girls in London, one of whom would go on to become Playmate of the Year in Playboy. And Suze was so smart—she had the model sign an agreement that said Suze could be the only one to photograph her should they want to feature her. So that was her ticket to Chicago. We lost touch, and I was at a crossroads: either go back to Germany and settle down or move to America, where I had contacts in L.A. through my London work.

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