Thoughts – June 3, 2016

The late seventies.
I’m at the photography school and we are all highly motivated. A whole new world opens itself. Art, creativity and some of us, still young sharks, the dream of being famous and rich already.

This is the era of David Hamilton with his soft-focus erotic and landscape photographs. Calendars and posters with his photographs are sold everywhere and his first movie, Bilitis (1977), is omnipresent in movie theaters.

(c) David Hamilton
(c) David Hamilton

I am not particularly fond of his work though. For me, they are just nice looking postcards, empty and soulless. His photographs don’t touch me, don’t arouse me either.
I am 18 and like many youngsters, I lack self-confidence and I have no luck with the girls.

(c) David Hamilton
(c) David Hamilton

I have discovered another photographer and become a huge fan of his work. His photography touches me and some wake up the same emotions, the same arousal I experienced when I saw the French movie Histoire d’O (1975) when I was 16. I cannot label these excitements yet and sometimes I think I may be a little abnormal.

While my friends enjoy Playboy or Hustler of even dirty magazines, sold in secret, I buy Vogue and the like’s and search photographs of my hero.
His name?
Helmut Newton.

(c) Helmut Newton
(c) Helmut Newton

January 23, 2004.
It is only a small article in our local newspaper but I am deeply saddened. Helmut Newton’s car speeds out of control and hits a wall in the driveway of the famous Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles, his residence for the past few years. He dies shortly after.

(c) Helmut Newton
(c) Helmut Newton

I am still a huge fan and understand much better what it was, still is, that attracts me so much in his images. It is his particular style marked by erotic, stylized scenes often with sadomasochistic and fetishistic subtexts. Over the years I have discovered other photographers who create this type of photography like Roy Stuart, Barbara Nitke, and others.

Well, maybe except for Araki. I really like his erotic and bondage photography.

(c) Nobuyoshi Araki
(c) Nobuyoshi Araki

A few days ago I sold my Nikonos IV-A, an underwater camera. I haven’t used it in ages, it was simply gathering dust.

I was thinking of getting some Canson Infinity Rag Photographique with the dough I got from the camera. It is my favorite paper for black and white.
My photographs I have hanging in my apartment do not represent me anymore. I want to hang more recent work.

Then I received a newsletter from Taschen informing the subscribers of a reprint of Us and Them. It is an ode to partnership and art and first published in 1999. Us and Them gather photographs by Helmut Newton and his wife, the actress and photographer June Newton, who worked under the pseudonym Alice Springs.


Taschen is well-known for their high quality and very reasonably priced art-books. I didn’t think twice and ordered the book and added Mrs. Newton also to the shopping cart. In this book, June Newton, renowned under her photographic pseudonym Alice Springs, takes the reader on an extraordinary journey from her childhood in Australia, via work and travels with her husband, Helmut Newton, to life today in LA and Monaco.


I’m hoping to have the books very soon, hell, I can hardly wait.
I’ll do a small review of both books very soon now.

(c) Helmut Newton
(c) Helmut Newton




One comment

  1. Excellent — M. and I got distracted by a Helmut Newton book in a fabulous NYC bookstore (Rizzoli). Too large for a small NYC apartment, though. Sigh~


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