Thursday, 20 June 2013

Helmut Newton

Helmut Newton - October 1920 - January 2004

Jesse McKinlay wrote "He was a prolific, widely imitated fashion photographer whose provocative, erotically charged black and white images were a mainstay of Vogue and other publications"

Newton was born in Berlin and attended the Heinrich-Von-Treitschke-Realgymnasium and the American school in Berlin.  With a keen interest in photography from the age of 12 when he bought his first camera, he worked for the German photographer Yva from 1936.

Between 1936 and 1946 due to Nazi oppression on Jews, Helmut fled to Singapore then Australia.  In 1946 he set up a studio in fashionable Flinders Lane,Melbourne and worked on fashion and theatre photography in the affluent post war years.  He shared his first joint exhibition in 1953 with Wolfgang Sievers who was also a German refugee.

Newtons growing reputation as a photographer was rewarded when he secured a commission to illustrate fashions in a special Australian supplement of Vogue, published in January 1956.  He won a 12 month contract with British Vogue and left for London in 1957.  He left the magazine before the end of his contract and went to Paris, where he worked for French and German magazines.  He returned to Melbourne in March 1959 to a contract for Australian Vogue.

In 1961 he settled in Paris and had his worked published in French Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.  He established a particular style marked by erotic stylized scenes, often with sado-masochistic and fetishistic subtexts.

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