Helmut Newton was a German fashion and portrait photographer who became known for his provocative nudes. In the 1950s and 1960s, his subversive and erotic imagery brought taboo subjects like sado-masochism and fetishism to the Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle magazines, which were aimed at a mass audience. Newton also photographed for the men's magazine Playboy. Born on October 31, 1920 in Berlin under the name Helmut Neustädter, he dropped out of school in 1936 and began an apprenticeship with the renowned photographer Yva. Two years later, the son of a Jewish button maker fled to Australia before the Nazis. After the war ended, Newton opened a photo studio there and focused on fashion photography. Newton's work, which finally brought him back to Europe, was characterized by idiosyncratic productions that stood out from the style of the industry at the time. At the end of the 1970s, Newton, who had become a star, concentrated on nude photography. Illustrated books such as Big Nudes (1982) made him world famous and he also gained attention as a portrait photographer. Newton died on January 23, 2004 at the age of 83 in a car accident in Los Angeles, where he lived in winter. The photographer was buried at his own request in his hometown of Berlin.
15 June 2020