Newton, Helmut (1920—)

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Newton, Helmut (1920—)

In May 1975, Helmut Newton's Vogue fashion spread, "The Story of Ohhh…," shocked America with its explicit eroticism. For taking risks with the conventions of fashion photography, Newton was labeled by Time magazine "a rake, a roué, and a libertine" and by Newsweek as "the King of Kink." Other critics were not so kind and eventually Newton was censored by both British and Italian Vogue. In the ensuing two decades, Newton has risen from censored to cherished, earning a reputation as both an art photographer and a fashion photographer. In the late 1990s, Newton is best known for his probing images of celebrities and his compelling travel photographs. His photographs speak of his love of women, of romance and sexuality, of artifice, and of consumer culture. Yet while most critics and students of photography consider Newton one of the world's greatest contemporary photographers, some continue to debate the violent sexuality, objectification, and fetishization of women in his photographs.

—Ilene S. Goldman

Further Reading:

Fahey, David. "Interview with Helmut Newton." Photo Bulletin. December, 1980.

Haskell, Molly. "Helmut Newton—The Theater of Shock." Vogue. October, 1974, 639.

Newton, Helmut. Big Nudes. New York, Thames and Hudson, 1982.

——. Helmut Newton: New Images. Bologna, Italy, Galleria d'art Modern, 1989.

——, with introduction by Karl Lagerfeld. Helmut Newton. Paris, Collection Photo Poche, 1986.