Helmut Newton Photography
Somewhere in between the sado-masochistic of an imaginative Nazi officer and the fetishistic stylization of a Stanley Kubrick film lays the work of German-Australian fashion photographer, Helmut Newton.
Although interested in photography his entire life, Newton’s career as a photographer did not become fully realized until 1946, when Newton participated in the New Objectivity photography movement in Australia. After establishing his own studio, Newton’s growing reputation of a fashion photographer was secured when he signed a twelve-month contract with British Vogue. During this period, Newton gained authorship as a fashion photographer by establishing a distinct style marked by eroticism, overt stylization, fetishistic subtextual content, and vague masochistic undertones. His work continued to appear not only in Vogue, but also Harper’s Bazaar and Playboy.
In his later life, Newton lived in Los Angeles. He was killed when his car hit a wall in the driveway of the famous Chateau Marmont , the hotel on Sunset Boulevard, which had served as his residence in Southern California.
More so then any other form of photography, I have always been deeply interested in fashion photography on both an artistic and commercial level. The intellectual properties of fashion photography were embraced by Newton, and often exploited, which is one of the main reasons why Newton’s work resonates with me. Every picture is exploding with dynamic nuances ranging from social implications to sexual suggestions.
With a keen eye for symmetry and frame composition, much of Newton’s work reflects a post-modernistic sense of surrealism that I find to be highly distinctive and original. I love the ambiguity of his work as much as I love the raw literalism of it, and he ranks in my favorite photographers of all time.
You can find out more about Helmut Newton’s life and career, as well as view more of his photography by clicking HERE.