The Bad and the Beautiful: Where Does Helmut Newton Fit Into Our New World?

Over the last few years, we’ve increasingly and very publicly questioned our behaviors, our politics, our history, our heroes, our statues, and our art. It’s only reasonable that we question our photography idols. Where do Helmut Newton’s hyper-erotic photography and his ruminations on power fit into our new world?(A bit of a disclaimer, I am a long-time fan of Newton; in fact, I first fell in love with photography through his imposing images.)Gero von Boehm’s new documentary, Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful, has something for those who are interested in the cultural aspects of Newton’s work and for those interested in his creative process.Evaluating Newton’s Ongoing Cultural ImpactVon Boehm takes no time in getting to the crux of the matter. While Newton’s work certainly changed the very nature of editorial and fashion photography, he did so while pushing the bounds of how power dynamics and the erotic friction within those dynamics were represented in photography. For many in the mainstream, he often went too far. 

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