Jim Doty - Photo Blog

Photography: Photos, News, and Tips
Saturday, January 24, 2004

HELMUT NEWTON (1920-2004)

A photographic icon is gone. Internationally famous fashion photographer, Helmut Newton, died in an auto accident in Los Angeles yesterday (January 23). He was 83. Newton was known for his edgy fashion and nude photography.

Newton was born in Germany in 1920. He fled in 1938 to escape persecution as a Jew. After fighting with the Australian army in WWII, he began work as a professional photographer in Paris in 1957. He was published in Vogue, Elle, Stern, Playboy and many other magazines. His fashions photos were highly sought after and many books of his work are sold around the world. Much of his fashion and nude photography could be described as sparse, austere, and cold.

His book SUMO gave new meaning to the phrase "coffee table book". The massive 480 page book weighs over 65 pounds and measures 31 x 32 x 6.6 inches in size (those dimensions are not a misprint). The book sells for an amazing price of $3,000 (that is not a misprint either) at Amazon.com. Shipping is extra. The book comes with its own stand which is included in the price of the book. Such a bargain! To see and read more about this huge book, or to buy it, go here.

A much more affordable book of Newton's work is Portraits: Photographs from Europe and America at $24.50. Photos of celebrities and wannabees are done in Newton's unique style.

Australian citizens, he and his wife June (married in 1948) have lived in Monte Carlo since 1981.

At the age of 75, Newton decided he had photographed too many naked women. This was an unexpected decision. "I just had a bellyful and realized I had shot enough nudes to last a lifetime." Helmut and his wife June gave an interview about this sudden decision at Salon.com.

You can buy Newton's autobiography here.

Articles about Newton are currently posted at CNN and the Washington Post.

David Lynch and Isabella Rossellini by Helmut Newton, OCAIW Gallery


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