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Sources Of Inspiration – Helmut Newton

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NewtonYSLHelmut Newton, “Rue Aubriot, Paris Collections” from the series, “White Women,” 1975, Courtesy of Collection of the Estate of Helmut Newton/© Estate of Helmut Newton 2011

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.

Portraits of the beautiful, rich and famous have amplified his ever so real fantasy world.

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.

In 1975 Helmut Newton photographed Le Smoking for Yves St Laurent (shown above) and this has become an iconic photograph. When Yves Saint-Laurent first created the tuxedo for women in 1966 he was seen by many as having empowered women by giving them the option to wear clothes that were normally worn by men with influence and power. Having Helmut Newton do the photo shoot for a later reincarnation in 1975 rammed home that message beyond doubt. This photograph and indeed all his work has been an inspiration to us.

Author: ibeastie

Interested in Photography, Watches, Style and Cars

One thought on “Sources Of Inspiration – Helmut Newton

  1. Stunning. Thank you for sharing.

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