“In my vocabulary there are two bad words: art and good taste,” German-Australian fashion photographer Helmut Newton (1920–2004) observed. He believed, “ Some people's photography is an art. Not mine. Art is a dirty word in photography. All this fine art crap is killing it already.”
With this freedom from the restrictions of art and good taste, Newton charted his own course, one that redefined the genre of fashion photography itself. Born in Berlin to a Jewish family, he purchased his first camera at the age of 12 and began working at the age of 16. But as the Nazis rose in power and enforced the Nuremberg laws, Newton’s family came under fire. His father lost control of the factory he ran and, following Kristallnacht, was briefly interned in a concentration camp, before the finally family fled the country that same year.
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Photo: X-Ray, Van Cleef & Arpels, French Vogue, 1994 © Helmut Newton Estate / Maconochie Photography