Helmut Newton Exhibit Opening Celebration

Last night the Photography Space feted famed photographer Helmut Newton and the launch of our latest show, Helmut Newton: White Women • Sleepless Nights • Big Nudes. The opening exhibit gala featured friends of the legendary photographer as well those who admire him and his work. Click "read more" to see some great photos from the party.


Supermodel Cindy Crawford, with her husband Rande Gerber, admire the photographs at the Photography Space.


Exhibt guest curator Manfred Heiting, co-owner of the Fahey/Klein Gallery, David Fahey, with the "Three Boys from Pasadena," George Holz, Just Loomis and Mark Arbeit.


Model and actress Nastassja Kinski, who posed for Newton in the 1980s.


Actor James Caan with Newton friend, film producer Robert Evans.


Actress/singer Mandy Moore with film and television star Minka Kelly pose in front of one of Newton's photos, which is also one of the images used in the exhibit's street banner campaign.


A group of partygoers enjoy the gala.


DJ Mathieu Schreyer entertained the crowd the entire evening.


Heiting with Annenberg Foundation Vice President and Director Charles Weingarten and Annenberg Foundation Executive Director Leonard Aube.
 


Photographer Neil Leifer with Pat Lanza, Director of Talent and Content for the Annenberg Space for Photography.


Crawford and Gerber take a break from the festivities to strike a pose.


Actress Bella Heathcote at the gala.


What a wonderful way to toast Helmut Newton and his legendary work! Helmut Newton: White Women • Sleepless Nights • Big Nudes opens to the public tomorrow and will show for a limited time until September 8, 2013.

Photos by Chris Weeks and Unique Nicole for the Space.

Helmut Newton & Cindy Crawford On Location

Helmut Newton photographed numerous models duing his long career - some more famous than others. One person who had the pleasure of working with Newton is supermodel Cindy Crawford. Last month, the icon attended the opening gala for our Helmut Newton exhibit at the Space for Photography.

We've uncovered a vintage segment from Crawford's popular 1990s fashion show on MTV, House of Style, which shows her on location in Monte Carlo wth Newton for a Vogue magazine photoshoot. She had this to say about her experience with the legenadry photographer: "I wanted to do Helmut Newton photographs. I didn't want him to photograph me looking like the Madonna….he's one of the few people that can get away with it and it doesn't look raunchy."

Click "read more" to watch Newton in action in the clip from 1990.

Douglas Bergeron On Helmut Newton's 'Rue Aubriot'


© Estate of Helmut Newton

Last month we presented you the point of view of the above photo (Rue Aubriot) by Helmut Newton from the very model featured in the famous image: Vibeke Knudsen. Today, we bring you the perspective from Knuden's husband, Douglas Bergeron, who is a writer, art historian and art collector.

By Douglas Bergeron

Helmut Newton’s black & white photo, Rue Aubriot, represents the extension of a long artistic tradition dedicated to showing femmes fatales, erotic vampires and alluring denizens of the Paris night. Charles Baudelaire’s spirit curls around the German photographers tableau, where we see echoes of Nadar’s early monochrome photos of great poets & artists. However, it is Brassai’s photographic depictions of his venuses of the crossroads- pictures of Parisian street walkers taken in the early 1930s, which are most often mentioned as an influence on Newton’s work.

In Rue Aubriot, Vibeke Knudsen wears a pinstripped suit (Le Smoking) designed by Yves Saint Laurent. She holds a cigarette with her hair slicked back. The model recalls the androgynous music hall performers of the Weimer republic seen in Otto Dix’s paintings of the period. Newton’s famous photo has been reproduced so many times that it has become an icon in his oeuvre, & like many icons, the image has found a meaning of its own that is decoupled from the influences that may have inspired it.

Androgyny. Woman’s lib. The power of branding: Vibeke’s elegant YSL pant suit can be seen as a symbol of woman’s empowerment & her androgynous appearance illustrates the new norm of contemporary culture. Label:  Today’s heroines must follow a necessary ritual. They wrap themselves in designer names that amplify their power. These names are muttered like an open sesame, an incantation that gives them access to the red carpet.

Perhaps the power of Newton’s photo lies in its classical simplicity, which is highlighted by the subtle gradations of its black and white palette. The modern fashion photograph has become the repository of those classical traditions of posing spawned by early Greek sculpture, traditions that were repeated through the Renaissance and well into the 19th Century. It is on the pages of today’s fashion magazines that our ideals of beauty are preserved and promoted - frozen in poses as old as the Elgin marbles. The classical purity of Newton’s night composition, made on the Rue Aubriot, is etched with a clarity that makes his model much more than just a sophisticated hanger for a fine suit of clothes. Vibeke Knudsen’s still pose and sharp, frozen, silhouette takes her outside the moving processes of time. Rue Aubroit’s streetlamps crystallize Vibeke’s image, transforming her into a dark angel of light that somehow remains beyond our reach.

But Newton’s photo has also made his model part of a famous troop of artfully rendered beauties. Rue Aubroit now hangs amongst a time-honored collection of well-known portraits devoted to those alluring queens of seduction that have decorated the Parisian night.  Rue Aubriot both captures and transcends the spirit of a decade and has become one of the perfect instants of contemporary, post-modern visual mythology. Helmut Newton’s photo will linger in our collective memory for many generations to come.

See this image and over 100 others at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Helmut Newton: White Women • Sleepless Nights • Big Nudes.

Helmut Newton On His Winter Home In L.A.

In his autobiography, titled simply enough Autobiography, Helmut Newton‬ wrote about his love of Los Angeles and the famed Chateau Marmont, his winter home for many years.

He wrote: "I Love my winters in the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, where June and I have stayed for the last 26 years. I have this fascination for familiar surroundings...The 'Domestic Nudes' series began by my wanting to photograph rooms of the Chateau Marmont that I know so well, but who would look at pictures of empty rooms? So I added naked women."

The above image, taken by co-owner of the Fahey/Klein Gallery and long-time friend of the Newtons, David Fahey, is part of our outdoor exhibit.

For the Love of Helmut

By Tara Shannon

Working on location inspired Helmut Newton - and an inspired Helmut was a really playful Helmut.  This snap was taken during a really great shoot for French Vogue in the south of France where everything was flowing effortlessly and he was in a great mood. June was with him and their Hollywood friends were coming by to say hi.  Bob Rafelson brought Jessica Lang who had her newborn daughter with her.

We were in the garden having lunch and everyone was taking pictures of each other, laughing and stepping in on each other’s shots. I started shooting Helmut, pretending that I was him.

He yelled a lot when shooting, so I mimicked him: “Helmut! That’s it! Don’t Move!  Francois, POWDER! , Katia, HAIR! “  Everyone started joining in, telling him to arch his back or find his light. He was actually a really good model!  He liked being teased.  He just loved having fun. He wanted work to be fun. He wanted life to be fun.

I shot with a Pentax Auto 110 that I had bought in Japan. It was a complete ultra-miniature SLR system. fully automatic with no user-settable adjustments.

It was a perfect camera to travel with as a model. I could buy 110 film in any airport and every drugstore in the world could develop it in an hour. He was wild about it. June shot this pic of Helmut and I with that camera.  He called it The Dwarf appealing totally to how he worked- his equipment being as pared down as possible. He found amateur cameras more innovative than professional.  I think my Pentax appealed to him so much because Helmut really and truly  was a reportage photographer at heart. He was the Weegee of the fashion world- a visual shark. He was brilliant at capturing those lurking shadows so full of subtext and pathos that were blatantly hiding within the seemingly superficial.

His point of view was the rabbit hole. He left it up to the viewer to fall down it as deeply as they wanted to go.

Former model Tara Shannon was once referred to as "the woman of a thousand faces." Learn more about her on her official website.

Watch Helmut Newton Shoot Eva Herzigova For 'Vogue'

Last month, we brought you a vintage House of Style video clip that featured a behind-the-scenes of a Helmut Newton photoshoot with Cindy Crawford. 

Here's another clip from that show (circa the early 1990s), which features model Eva Herzigová in a shoot for Vogue magazine. In the video, Newton dispenses some wisdom on his photography, such as the belief that some people tend to overanalyze his images.

"People...they a look at magazines like Vogue," he says, "and they analyze, kind of politically, socially, pictures that are just a fashion photograph."

Click "read more" to watch the video clip.

Spotted at the Space: Ed Templeton

Professional skateboarder and contemporary artist Ed Templeton and his wife Deanna visited the Photography Space last weekend to check out the Helmut Newton exhibit.  Haven't seen the exhibit yet?  Drop by this weekend!  In addition to our regular weekend hours, we're open on Labor Day from 11am-6pm.

Helmut Newton Arrives June 29th!

Our next exhibit is the very first solo show at the Annenberg Space for Photography and boy is it a doozy. Helmut Newton: White Women • Sleepless Nights • Big Nudes presents the work of one of the most revolutionary and influential photographers of the past century. Newton's provocative images of women brought eroticism to fashion photography. In his photos, art, fashion, subverison and aspiration collide. The exhibit opens on Saturday June 29, 2013.

Watch the video teaser above for a sneak peek of the show.

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