Helmut Newton, is one of the most influential and controversial photographers of the 20th century. Newton’s photographs embfraced fashion, erotica, portrait and documentary. His work was prolific, bold and provocative, and appeared in publications such as Playboy, Marie-Claire, Elle and Vogue.
Newton was born in Berlin in 1920, he studied at the American School in Berlin until 1936 where his interest in photography shone through and he left to and started an apprenticeship with renowned fashion photographer Yva.
He fled Germany in 1938 and moved to Australia in 1940 and joined the Australian Army, serving five years. He met his wife June Brunell in Melbourne, 1948 who would later photograph Newton and work with him on his books.
Newton had his own studio on Flinders Lane in Melbourne and has his first exhibition, ‘New Visions of Photography’ with Wolfgang Sievers in May 1953.
He traveled back and fourth between Europe and Australia until he and his wife bought a house in the south of France. In 1971 Newton suffered from an almost fatal heart attack and with the encouragement from his wife he began to photograph overtly sexual images. His black and white stills generally captured, voyeurism, lesbianism and fetishism often causing controversy with female audiences.
In 1957 he staged his first one man exhibition in Paris, the following year he published his first book, White women.
Newton continued to produce work over the next twenty fie years until his death in 2004. Just before he past away he established the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin, Germany.
‘It’s that 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’