Thanks to our reputation as investigative cultural journalists, DERZEIT staffers are always welcome guests at press conferences. Lucky for us, because otherwise we wouldn’t have met the cheeky, dare-we-say eccentric June Newton (alias Alice Springs). The widow of the late, world-renowned fashion photographer Helmut Newton was in town to introduce his latest retrospective at the Helmut Newton Foundation.
“They were so tall they looked like skyscrapers, but with boobs,” June Newton described the new model type Helmut conceived in the sixties – those girls starring in his first three publications, “White Women” (1976), “Sleepless Nights” (1978) and “Big Nudes” (1981), to which the current exhibition is dedicated. Most of the issued photographs such as “Self-Portrait with Wife and Models”, “At Maxim’s” and “Here They Come” are legendary, but have not yet been presented together.
As most of his exhibitions, "Helmut Newton: White Women / Sleepless Nights / Big Nudes" discusses the interaction of conventional fashion photography with Newton’s then-revolutionary yet provocative style, mixing up clothes with his all-time favourite topics: nudity, sexuality and, of course, tall women with big boobs. Unfortunately the discussion does not lead to new results, which changes noting at the fact that Newton is a master of his trade and this exhibition a must-see for his fans. Just don’t expect anything other than impressive classics of overwhelming naked beauties.
But let's be honest: the selection and calibre of art is far greater than you get at lots of other exhibitions. Maybe June Newton hits the point when she says: “Even though they are naked they seem so powerful, you can’t stop gazing at them.” She was also insightful about the subtleties of his job, and the potential occupational hazards of being the artist's wife: “Jealous? He had pussies all day, but he never touched them.” At this point our investigative journalistic interest comes to a halt...
The exhibition runs till the 18th of November at Helmut Newton Stiftung im Museum für Fotografie and don’t forget to check out Dutch photographer Jan de Wit’s “Journey to the past” prints in the gallery's adjoining room which are also worth a look.
Helmut Newton: White Women / Sleepless Nights / Big Nudes
june 1st - november 18th 2012
tuesday - sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
thursday 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Text by Celina Plag