Tag Archives: retrospective

Helmut Newton, still provocative

Helmut Newton Yves Saint Laurent

Los Angeles is currently hosting a Helmut Newton retrospective at the Annenberg Space. Paris welcomed a major exhibition of the late photographer’s work as well last year. I took pictures while visiting it at the Grand Palais but never got round to using them for a post. When I heard about the LA exhibit I felt compelled to take them out of my archives and share them with you.

Los Angeles accueille depuis peu à l’Annenberg Space une rétrospective de l’œuvre d’Helmut Newton. J’avais visité celle du Grand Palais l’année dernière mais n’avais jamais utilisé mes photos prises alors. Quand j’ai entendu parler de l’expo à LA, j’ai eu envie de ressortir ces images de mes archives pour les partager avec vous.

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Charlotte Rampling, Vogue December 1974

It’s impossible to remain indifferent to a Helmut Newton picture.  The provocative, edgy and sexually-charged images have changed the face of fashion photography. Their influence can be tracked down to the likes of stylist Carine Roitfeld; Karl Lagerfeld quotes Newton as a major influence in his own photography. His depictions of women are disconcerting: they are either powerfully strong and dominating or directed as sexual objects with a tinge of misogyny and even zoophilia. You’d better have a sense of humor when viewing his work.

Difficile de rester indifférent face à une photo d’Helmut Newton. Ses images provocantes et sexuelles ont changé l’histoire de la photographie de mode et influencent aujourd’hui des personnalités comme la styliste Carine Roitfeld et Karl Lagerfeld. Newton donne de la femme une image déconcertante : soit elle est forte, puissante et dominatrice, soit elle est objet sexuel avec une touche de misogynie, voire de zoophilie. Mieux vaut avoir le sens de l’humour en visionnant ces photos…

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An early shot

Helmut Newton cigarette

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Helmut Newton Sie kommen

Helmut Newton Los Angeles

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It’s interesting how the visitors reflect in the glass, revealing us as voyeurs.

Les visiteurs se reflètent dans le verre, mettant en lumière notre côté voyeur face à cette photo.

Helmut Newton Andy Warhol Catherine Deneuve

Andy Warhol and Catherine Deneuve

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Legend has it that Jean-Louis Dumas, the former CEO of Hermès, fainted when he saw this picture of a model wearing one of the brand’s saddles. Newton considered Hermès as “the world’s greatest sex shop—with its whips, saddles, spurs”.

What do you think of Helmut Newton’s photography? Love it? Hate it?

On dit que Jean-Louis Dumas, alors directeur d’Hermès, aurait fait un malaise en voyant cette photo d’une femme portant une selle de la maison. Helmut Newton considérait Hermès comme « le meilleur sex-shop du monde avec tous ces cravaches, selles et éperons ».

Que pensez-vous de l’œuvre d’Helmut Newton ? Vous aimez ? Vous détestez ?

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Joel Meyerowitz photography exhibition in Paris

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The photography exhibitions at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris are always very popular, drawing a crowd on weekends. The museum showcases works of photographers, famous or not, that allow you to see reality from different perspectives with a great diversity of styles. Such is the case of Joel Meyerowitz, whose retrospective is on show until April 7th. From the beginning of his career in the 1960s, this photographer documented the American way of life with a heavy European influence.

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The exhibition started with black and white images of New York City putting forth its raw energy.

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Joel Meyerowitz became officially linked to the history of New York City when, in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, he was the only photographer allowed with unrestricted access to Ground Zero.

Joel Meyerowitz World Trade Center

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From the early 1960s, Joel Meyerowitz was an early advocate of color at a time when color photography was not considered a serious art. Doesn’t this seem hard to believe when the treatment of color actually is a form of art in itself?

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What I like in these pictures is that Meyerowitz does a sublime work on color and lighting on the most banal landscapes like Edward Hopper did in his paintings. The objects of the pictures are not exceptional, yet if you’ve ever gone on a road trip in the US, they remind you of the excitement you had while travelling towards a certain destination, the unexpected discoveries on the road, the feeling of being in an unknown place outside of your usual comfort zone, the meals in the most mundane places that end up having their dose of charm.

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Joel Meyerowitz street

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If you ever go to the Maison Européenne de la Photographie located in the Marais, be sure to go for a chic snack afterwards at the nearby L’Eclair de Génie. Also, you might enjoy my post on another exhibition that took place there, Karl Lagerfeld photography exhibition in Paris.

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