Helmut Newton was an Australian-German photographer born in 1920 in Berlin and died four years after the millennium. He was from a Jewish background, the son of Klara and Max Neustädte. He went to the Heinrich-von-Treitschke- Realgymnasium in Berlin and then to an American School in the same city. Newton was keen to discover the horizons of photography at a very young age, when he was just twelve years old. He later purchased his own personal camera and began working for Elsie Neuländer Simon, a German photographer from 1936 onwards.

At this time, Jewish were being oppressed increasingly in Germany by the Nuremberg law and because of this Newton’s father lost hold over his factory that produced buckles and buttons. Hence, the family was forced to migrate. While Newton’s family was in South America, he made his journey to Singapore and decided to remain there first as a photographer for Straits Times and eventually as a portrait photographer.

Helmut Newton was a prolific fashion photographer, widely recognised as one of the most collectable and prominent photographers ever to hold a camera. Dubbed the ‘King of Kink’, his erotically charged imagery was provocative as it was masterful in its compositional and narrative direction.

Over the past decade, recognition and appreciation of his oeuvre has reached high peaks amongst collectors and art experts alike, but it is in recent years that prices have dramatically skyrocketed, and this trend is likely to continue.

Helmut Newton

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