Thursday, 30 June 2016

Love-hate Helmut Newton

Yves Saint Laurent, French Vogue, Rue Aubriot, Paris 1975, ©Helmut Newton / Helmut Newton Estate
Helmut Newton, you either love his work or you don't. FOAM currently has a major exhibition on the renowned photographer Helmut Newton, who was originally German but fled his country because of the rapid rise of national socialism in 1938.
With a few girl friends of mine I went to see this retrospective which took over the whole museum and showed a wide variety of his work. We loved his fashion photography, there is often lots of humor and interaction between the people in the photos. Also, the images were very stylish like the photo above and gave a good impression of the fashion of bygone periods like the seventies.
Self portrait with wife and models, Vogue Studio, Paris 1981, ©Helmut Newton / Helmut Newton Estate
We were not too keen though on some of his other work which portrays barely clothed women with perfect bodies on high heels. To us, they were distant, somewhat cold women without personalities nor hearts. Perhaps you feel differently about it, but these photos seemed to be made for men and we as female lookers were not able to relate with any of these beauties. And indeed, according to this article he wasn't interested in people, he was not interested in soul. On the other hand, I am interested in people. I would like to see a spark, a glimpse of their characters or souls even if it is just very subtle.
The exhibition is running until 4 September 2016.

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