Helmut Newton first came to our attention bizarrely as a result of some photographs taken by a MINI enthusiast on MINI2 who did some “tongue in cheek” homage photos to the work of the great man. Having been pointed at Newton we have been inspired ever since. At times there is a brutality or starkness in his work that shocks and takes us out of our comfort zone but for all that he is a brilliant photographer whose work should be explored and appreciated by any budding photographic enthusiast.
“The point of my photography has always been to challenge myself.” Helmut Newton
Born in Berlin in 1920, Newton achieved international fame in the 1970’s while working principally for French Vogue. Renowned for the precision and glamour of his photographs as well as the striking, often controversial scenarios he chose for his models. He photographed women looking powerful, sexually predatory and available.
The majority of Newton’s work was shot in the streets or in interiors, rather than the controlled environment of the studio. He was inspired by the German documentary photographer Erich Saloman and by Brassaï, the latter with whom he established a friendship. Much of his inspiration also derived from the daily newspapers, real life situations or paparazzi shots. Most striking was his ability to make a thoroughly planned photograph seem fresh and dynamic.