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Helmut Newton. A Gun for Hire

70Edition: Multilingual (English, French, German)Availability: In Stock
Helmut Newton did not distinguish compositionally or stylistically between his magazine work and assignments for commercial clients. He ironically referred to himself as “a gun for hire.” That was also the title of June Newton's legendary book about his commercial photography, which is now available in a new edition revised by the Helmut Newton Foundation.
Hardcover9.1 x 12.0 in.4.08 lb240 pages

“TASCHEN has brought out [Newton’s] savvy A Gun for Hire. Originally published in 2005, the book collects even more of Newton’s work for catalogues, magazines, and advertising, from Biba, Chanel, and Versace to Absolut Vodka… be warned, this is not Newton at his best, but his patented, deliberately provocative mix of class and cheese, with no pretense to high art, is hard to resist. The photographer is enjoying himself; why not join him?”

Vince Aletti for Photograph
“The legendary, provocative photographer gets a gorgeous TASCHEN tome dedicated to his career. A re-released edition, this time revised by the Helmut Newton Foundation, is brilliant.”
“This amazing collection of images perfectly reflects his attitude.”
Harpers Bazaar
“A Gun For Hire, named for what Helmut Newton once called himself, includes some of his best editorial work for fashion houses from Biba in the 1960s to Thierry Mugler and Versace campaigns in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as Newton’s last work for Vogue.”
“Hasn’t just about everyone tried to copy Newton, but only the ‘master’ himself managed to handle sex and elegance in such a casual, yet cool and calculated way.”
Back in Print
Helmut Newton. A Gun for Hire

Helmut Newton. A Gun for Hire


Shooting for a living

"Carte Blanche" for Newton's commissioned work between art and commerce

"Some people's photography is an art. Mine is not. If they happen to be exhibited in a gallery or a museum, that's fine. But that's not why I do them. I'm a gun for hire," Helmut Newton told Newsweek in 2004. This prosaic proclamation from one of the 20th century's most celebrated photographers may be perceived as surprising. Still it firmly positions Newton as the no-frills image-maker that he was. His work is so powerful and striking, that it defies categorization. In refusing to call his work "art," Newton leaves us free to do so. Judging from the amount of museum and gallery shows that have featured his work, it is clear that the option has been widely exercised.

A Gun for Hire brings together a selection of Newton's fashion catalog work from the early 1960s to 2003 including campaigns for BiBA (the first fashion catalog in 1962), Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Thierry Mugler, Blumarine, Villeroy & Boch and Absolut Vodka, as well as his last editorial photographs for US and Italian Vogue—encompassing the body of work he made as a "gun for hire."

With an introduction by Matthias Harder and statements by Pierre Bergé, Tom Ford, Josephine Hart, June Newton, and Anna Wintour.

The photographer

Helmut Newton (1920–2004) was one of the most influential photographers of all time. He first achieved international fame in the 1970s while working principally for the different internation editions of Vogue, where he was celebrated for his controversial scenarios and the ability to make a thoroughly planned photograph seem fresh and dynamic. His many titles and awards include Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

The contributing author

Matthias Harder studied Art History, Classical Archaeology and Philosophy in Kiel and Berlin. He is a member of the German Society of Photography and an advisory council member of the European Month of Photography. Head curator of the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin from 2004, and also its director from 2019, he has written numerous articles for art magazines, books and exhibition catalogues.

The editor

June Newton (1923–2021) has worked as a photographer under the pseudonym Alice Springs since 1970. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and publications, including Vanity Fair, Interview, Elle, and Vogue. Her many famous subjects include William S. Burroughs, Catherine Deneuve, Graham Greene, Vivienne Westwood, Ralph Gibson, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Yves Saint Laurent, and Nicole Kidman.

Helmut Newton. A Gun for Hire
Hardcover23 x 30.5 cm1.85 kg240 pages

ISBN 978-3-8228-4643-8

Edition: Multilingual (English, French, German)
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