Helmut Newton (1920-2004) was one of the most influential photographers of all time. I have been a huge fan of his work since I was first getting serious about photography at age 17. His controversial and beautiful pictures have broken down taboos, documenting and, to an extent, shaping society's changing attitudes to sex and female empowerment.
In 1948 he married the Australian actress June Brunell, who became his chief collaborator and accomplice, posing nude for Newton while performing household tasks and even approaching young women in the Paris streets who appealed to him as models. June Newton is also a photographer in her own right, and works under the name of Alice Springs. After living in London in the late 1950s, Newton and his wife settled in Paris in 1961 where he worked as a freelance fashion photographer and achieved commercial success at French Vogue. Throughout his career he worked for every major fashion magazine in Europe and the United States, including French, Italian, German, American and British Vogue, Stern, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire and Queen. Newton's commercial projects also included advertising commissions, including a portfolio that he produced for the Volkswagen Beetle in 1999.
Newton established a particular style marked by erotic, stylised scenes, often with sado-masochistic and fetishistic subtexts that was accompanied by an exceptional technique and intense preparation. His penchant for glamour and sexual depravity which was at once scandalous and titillating made him the most powerful and copied fashion photographer of the 20th century. Newton's images, (almost) always in black and white, and including models in sado-machistic orthopedic strappings or a chicken stuffed with jewelry, continued to send frissons through the magazine world until his death in 2004. He refracted through his lens the sexual and feminist revolutions, making his women appear as sex objects on the one hand, and yet in control of their destiny on the other. Such ambiguity was a constant theme in Newton's approach to his work, about which he was simultaneously cynical, laconic and passionate.
(via art bank)
Helmut Newton, Dans un jardin près de Rome (1976-1979)"He changed fashion photography’ and ‘His world of glamorous, slightly twisted sexual images was both shocking and appealing at the same time.’ ~ Tom Ford On Newton (ex-creative director of Gucci)
Nastassja Kinski by Helmut Newton, Playboy US, May 1983
"My job as a portrait photographer is to seduce, amuse and entertain. " ~Helmut Newton
"I don't like white paper backgrounds. A woman does not live in front of white paper. She lives on the street, in a motor car, in a hotel room." ~ Helmut Newton