The fashion photography of Helmut Newton. Helmut Newton once said, "Some people's photography is an art. Mine is not. If they happen to be exhibited in a gallery or a museum, that's fine. But that's not why I do them. I'm a gun for hire" ("Newsweek", 02/02/04). This prosaic proclamation from one of the 20th century's most celebrated photographers is not a little shocking, but nonetheless firmly positions Newton as the no-frills image-maker that he was. His work is so powerful, so striking, that it defies categorization. In refusing to call his work "art," Newton leaves us free to do so, and judging from the amount of museum and gallery shows that have featured his work, it is clear that the option has been widely exercised. This book brings together a selection of Newton's fashion catalog work from as early as 1962 through 2003 and his last editorial photographs for US and Italian Vogue - all work he made as a "gun for hire." The client list includes: BiBA, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Thierry Mugler, Blumarine, "Italian Vogue", "US Vogue", "German Vogue", Villeroy & Boch, Bikini Calendar for "Sportsmagazine", "Absolute Vodka".
Helmut Newton (1920-2004) was one of the most influential photographers of all time. Born in Berlin, he arrived in Australia in 1940 and married June Brunell (a.k.a. Alice Springs) eight years later. He first achieved international fame in the 1970's while working principally for French Vogue, and his celebrity and influence grew over the decades. Newton preferred to shoot in streets or interiors, rather than studios. Controversial scenarios, bold lighting, and striking compositions came to form his signature look. In 1990 he was awarded the Grand Prix National for photography; in 1992 the German government awarded him Das Grosse Verdienstkreuz for services to German culture, and he was appointed Officer des Arts, Lettres et Sciences by S.A.S. Princess Caroline of Monaco. In 1996, he was appointed Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by Philippe Douste-Blazy, the French Minister of Culture at the time. Working and living in close companionship with his wife until his death at 83, his images remain as distinctive, seductive and orginal as ever.