• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1325


    17 December 2003, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 257

    HELMUT NEWTON (b. 1920)

    Kristin Bell, 1976

    Price Realised  


    HELMUT NEWTON (b. 1920)
    Kristin Bell, 1976
    each with Playboy stamp (on the verso)
    3 gelatin silver prints
    each 9½ x 6½ in. (24.1 x 16.5 cm.) or the reverse
    RUN DATE: August 1976, 200 Motels or, How I Spent My Summer Vacation. (3)

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    The son of a wealthy Berlin button manufacturer, Helmut Newton began his career in photography in the studio of Yva (Else Simon) in 1936. With the rise of Nazism, Newton fled Germany for Singapore, finally settling in Australia in 1940, where he served in the Army until the end of the second world war. After completing his military service, Newton opened a small studio in Melbourne and worked there as a fashion photographer, achieving increasing success and critical recognition. He moved to Paris in 1961 and became a regular contributor to Paris Vogue and other high fashion magazines. From the mid 1970s onwards, Newton also shot a number of memorable subjects for Playboy, an obvious association given his credit of having introduced sex to fashion photography. Newton, however, would disagree with this analysis. In Playboy's September 1987 issue, he stated that he considered himself "...too raunchy" for the magazine. Indeed, his overtly erotic imagery is never straightforward; it always includes a wealth of complex, often fetishistic motifs and subtexts.