A random Weblog


A study in the masters: Newton
September 13, 2008, 10:43 am
Filed under: Media, Photography | Tags: , ,

Following my attempts to emulate Irving Penn, this photo is based on the work of Helmut Newton. It kind of drifted from Newton’s sometimes stark lighting, but ended up being a fun shoot.

Helmut Neustädter (b. 1920, Berlin, Germany – d. 2004, West Hollywood, California, USA) was a German-Australian fashion photographer noted for his nude studies of women. During WWII Newton was interned by British authorities while in Singapore, and was sent to Australia, arriving in Sydney on 27 September 1940…In 1942, he enlisted with the Australian Army and worked as a truck driver.

After the war, in 1945 he became an Australian citizen, and changed his name to Newton in 1946. In 1948 he married actress June Browne, who performed under the stage-name ‘June Brunell’. She later became a successful photographer under the ironic pseudonym ‘Alice Springs’ (after Alice Springs, the central Australian town). In 1946, Newton set up a studio in fashionable Flinders Lane in Melbourne and worked primarily on fashion photography in the affluent post-war years. He shared his first joint exhibition in May 1953 with Wolfgang Sievers, a German refugee like himself. The exhibition of ‘New Visions in Photography’ was held at the Federal Hotel in Collins Street and was probably the first glimpse of ‘New Objectivity’ photography in Australia. Newton went into partnership with Henry Talbot, a fellow German Jew who had also been interned at Tatura, and his association with the studio continued even after 1957 when he left Australia for London. The studio was renamed ‘Helmut Newton and Henry Talbot’. Newton’s growing reputation as a fashion photographer was rewarded when he secured a commission to illustrate fashions in a special Australian supplement for Vogue magazine, published in January 1956. He won a twelve-month contract with British Vogue and he left for London in February 1957, leaving Talbot to manage the business.

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. He settled in Paris in 1961 and continued work as a fashion photographer. His works appeared in magazines including, most significantly, French Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. He established a particular style marked by erotic, stylised scenes, often with sado-masochistic and fetishistic subtexts. A heart attack in 1970 slowed his output somewhat but he extended his work and his notoriety/fame greatly increased, notably with his 1980 &quot;Big Nudes&quot; series which marked the pinnacle of his erotic-urban style, underpinned with excellent technical skills. He also worked in portraiture and more fantastical studies. (from Wikipedia)</i>

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