A look back at Helmut Newton’s legacy in fashion photography

German-born fashion photographer Helmut Newton changed photography with his iconoclastic ways. As he once said: “In my vocabulary, there are two bad words: art and good taste.

The self-proclaimed “guns for hire” presents a retrospective of his most iconic photographs in Berlin, the photographer’s hometown, to commemorate his 101st birthday. “Helmut Newton. Legacy ”, runs through May 22, 2022 at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin, showcasing a number of works that rocked the glossy fashion magazines of the time.

In the 1960s, he arrived in Paris, photographing the creations of the greatest fashion designers of the time, from André Courrèges to Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld and Thierry Mugler.

He was not made for British Vogue, but rather found a kinship with the risks that French Vogue was ready to take, at the time. During his 60-year career, Newton transformed fashion photography from something perfect into an elegant anarchy.

He saw fashion photography as a social document that takes the viewer back in time to find out what society looked like, but also what the taboos were (fact: he created fashion photos of a sexual nature in French Vogue at a time when they were daring). He worked best outdoors and aimed to create his own universe in cities, often in unlikely places, such as construction areas, street scenes lit by lampposts at night, and working-class neighborhoods.

However, some of her most memorable photos are celebrity portraits, like snaps of Madonna, Claudia Schiffer, and Catherine Deneuve, among others.

A section of the exhibition will be dedicated to his wife June Newton (who was also a photographer who shot under her pseudonym, Alice Springs). She died earlier this year in Monte-Carlo and is buried next to her husband in Berlin’s Friedhof Stubenrauchstraße cemetery.

If you can’t make it to Berlin, a book by the Taschen publishing house has the best photos of the famous photographer to print. The book comes out next month, just in time for the holidays. Traveling exhibitions are organized, among others in Monaco, Saint Petersburg and Barcelona.

Newton was practical, he hated excess. As he once said: “The beauty of photography is that it is relatively inexpensive to produce, that it can be done quickly with minimal personnel and equipment, and if you miss it. one job, there is always another that can work. does not need to get up early in the morning.

Book your ticket for the Helmut Newton Foundation on www.smb.museum/tickets.

About Julius Southworth

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