Helmut Newton was an amazing photographer with provocative and erotic images done usually in black and white, known for his beautiful photos of hosiery. Newton preferred to shoot in streets or interiors, rather than studios. Just to give you an example of his fame, the featured photo here with two pairs of legs in stockings from 1979 sold at an auction for $52,500 in 2006, two years after Newton passed away in 2004 at the age of 84.
Born in Berlin, from family of Jewish descent who owned a button factory. Because of the political situation his parents had to flee to South America. Helmut Newton, as soon as he turned 18, left Germany and lived in many different countries after that.
Wolford the late 1990’s ran a famous advertising campaign featuring the work of this photographer. Beautiful work, but not everyone understood this kind of art. In 1998 New York Metropolitan Transit Authority had placed a ban on displaying Wolford advertisement on their territory because in their opinion it was too provocative. Wolford decided to proceed using those images anyway for their line regardless of what the transit authority thought.
Quotes by Helmut Newton:
Interesting Quotations from Helmut Newton
- “The people who use me have more money than I’ll ever see – they are rich – they are industrial leaders, big companies, successful magazines. I don’t feel sorry for them. But I also work for free sometimes. And it’s just as much fun. I can do photos for magazines put out by young people who don’ t have enough money to pay the people who work for them. If they’re doing something I think is interesting, and I think I can help them out, then I do it for nothing.”
- “In the beginning, I wanted to be a big reporter and travel around the world, but it didn’t work out that way.”
- “When I was 18 and in Singapore I was flat broke. The Singapore Straits-Times offered me a job as a reporter… but every time there was something to take a picture of, I got there too late.”
- “There is no message in my photos. They are quite simple and don’t need any explanation.”
- “Like a lot of photographers, I am also fascinated by store-window mannequins. I like to lead the viewer on a wild goose chase. Often the models look like mannequins and the mannequins look like humans. The mix-up amuses me, and I like to play on that ambiguity in my photos.”
- “Another one of my obsessions is swimming pools. I love water. It fascinates me like swimming pools fascinate me, especially the ones in big cities.”
- “I photograph the upper class because I’m well acquainted with it. And when someone asks me why I never show the other side of the coin, I reply that I don’t know much about it, but that there are other photographers who can do a marvellous job. I prefer to stick with what I know.”
- “People have said that my photos have nothing at all to do with reality. That’s not true: everything is based on reality.”
- “… I want to show how a woman in a certain mileu lives… the kind of car she drives, her setting, what kind of men she sees. It doesn’t matter where they come from – New York, Paris, Nice, Monte Carlo. Their nationality doesn’t matter either. The women of a certain mileu, no matter where they’re from, all look and dress alike.”
- “I am very impressed when I travel from one continent to another, from Paris to Beverly Hills; the women can’t possibly resemble each other, but their clothes and make-up are always the same. it’s a sign of the consumer society.”
- “I like and look for reactions. I don’t like kindness or gentleness. I want to provoke, but not by choice of subject… The only provocation that I hate is that of the surrealist image. It has no place in my world.
- ” I love vulgarity. I am very attracted to bad taste – it is a lot more exciting than that supposed good taste, which is nothing more than a standardized way of looking at things. .. … in Sleepless Nights all that sadomasochism still looks interesting to me today.”
- “I always carry chains and padlocks in my car trunk, not for me but for my photos – by the way, I never make the knots real tight.”
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