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Helmut Newton

Helmut Newton

Dark, decadent, quintessential glamour

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T-Time

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Helmut Newton

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In Helmut Newton’s fashion photography women command attention, they are dangerous, even menacing, yet always elegant. 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 French Vogue, and became celebrated for his controversial scenarios, bold lighting, and striking compositions in street or interior settings, rather than studios. His many titles and awards include Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Newton is know for an individual and highly erotic style bordering on the sadomasochistic. His photos for various fashion magazines were some of the first to overtly present female nudity in a triumphant and empowering manner. However, underlying his bold images is a decadence and cruelty woven into complex stories of sex and power. It is this quality to his art that endures and has left its mark on the history of fashion photography.

Helmut Newton’s portraits have been widely exhibited in shows such as White Women, Sleepless Nights and Big Nudes and compiled into many books. TASCHEN’s most expensive publication ever created is the special edition Helmut Newton SUMO, a title that truly transcends the coffee table fashion photography book. Other anthologies include Pages From The Glossies, World Without Men, and Polaroids. Newton was born in Berlin in 1920 and escaped Nazi persecution to Singapore and then Australia, where he met his wife the photographer June Newton who works under the pseudonym Alice Springs. Later resettling in Paris, the couple found a home in the fashion capital where some of Newton’s most famous subjects were photographed and his most iconic images created. His photo Le Smoking, perhaps his most well known image, attests to the subversive elegance he conjured: a woman dressed androgynously in Yves Saint Laurent poses with a cigarette in a darkened, cobbled, Parisian street. Simple and powerful, black and white, Helmut Newton’s photography is classic glamour.