Helmut Newton (German, 1920–2004) is held as one of the great masters of the late Twentieth-Century photography, whose photographic style is still seen as provocative and widely capable to challenge the comprehension of female desire and sexuality. Born in Berlin from a Jewish family, after being an apprentice of Yva, he left the country in 1938. After being in Singapore and in Australia, where he met his wife and lifetime companion June, he returned to Europe only in the Sixties, where he started a successful fashion photographer career in Paris in 1961. As a fashion photographer, he contributed to leading magazines such as French Vogue, Harper Bazaar, Playboy, Elle Queen, GQ, Marie-Claire.
During his career he has worked for Chanel, Gianni Versace, Yves Saint Laurent and has photographed many personalities from the entertainment, culture, politics and cinema sectors such as Ava Gardner, Charlotte Rampling, Catherine Deneuve, Romy Schneider , Raquel Welch, Sigourney Weaver, Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Kohl, Jean-Marie Le Pen, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Wim Wenders.
Dubbed the ‘King of Kink’ by Time Magazine, he published several books of his work such as White Women (1976), Big Nudes (1981), and World Without Men (1984): thanks to the contribution of his wife June, he pushed through the boundaries of his vision, in which the female nude is a tool to highlight sex as a symbol of strength and power.
Honored in 1996 with the title of Grand Commander of the Arts and Letters, by the French minister of culture, Helmut Newton died at the age of 83 in 2004 following a heart attack. His style, described by Anna Wintour as “synonymous with Vogue at its most glamorous and mythic”, continues to influence present and future generations of contemporary fashion and portrait photographers.