Helmut Newton was a German photographer from Berlin, naturalized Australian, famous in particular for his studies on the female nude.
After the war he worked as a freelance photographer producing fashion shots and working with magazines such as Playboy. From the end of the fifties onwards he focuses on fashion photography, his particular style is characterized by glossy eroticism, sometimes with sado-masochistic and fetishistic traits.
Newton's fame exploded in the world of photography in the late 1960s, when he began to introduce elements of sado-masochism, voyeurism and homosexuality into fashion photography. The women are filmed in provocative poses: they wander, charged with erotic tension, through a hotel room; they recline on a sofa full of post-coital satisfaction.
His career was accompanied by a taste for provocation.
However, his fame explodes with the "Big Nudes" series of 1980 which marks the peak of his erotic-urban style, supported with an excellent photographic technique.
Helmut had a real obsession with heels. In all likelihood he had matured it in Berlin before the war, where he had frequented the fetish scene of the city, where perhaps he had been able to focus his fascination with the sadomasochistic figure of the dominant woman.
In his photograph, the shoes perform the function of a pedestal: they serve to elevate the woman to the rank of a carnal icon, helping to make her sacred. But above all, with their fetish character, they serve to excite the viewer's imagination. No one like him has been able to prove that a naked woman with shoes is, paradoxically, an even more naked woman.
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