Helmut Newton: The Prophet


At his best, Newton was a prophet of our contemporary moment with his nihilistic wit – our society’s prevailing obsession with extraordinary wealth and its blood-boiling entitlement, our fascination and disgust with the excess of the rich and famous. He knew what grand fun it was to at once mock and revel in the bad behaviour and sexual quirks of the powerful without venturing into the thorny territory of political critique. Today, we see signs of his work everywhere, in tabloids, film (David Lynch carries the mantle), fashion (American Apparel’s sleazy amateur porno campaigns), and culture (Vice Magazine’s bad taste series of female literary heroine’s suicides), just to name-check a few.

– Daniel Cantagallo, 2013