It’s not everyday that a rousing exhibition such as this presents itself so it’s always important to take advantage. Retrospectives are especially exciting as it offers a large selection of an artist’s work in one setting allowing the viewer to observe the breadth of their work and development.
I’m a big fan of Helmut Newton’s black and white fashion photography which to this very day continues to command our attention with its modern, edgy perspective. However, have a more difficult time finding purpose or pleasure in his female nudes of pornographic and sadomasochistic tendency.
As he himself put it, “I love vulgarity. I am very attracted by bad taste – it is a lot more exciting than that supposed good taste which is nothing more than a standardized way of looking at things… If the art world rejects me, all I can say is ‘good luck to the world of art.’ If I look for a real point of view, I’m not going to start by looking at what art will accept so I can conform to that. That’s why… sadomasochism still seems interesting to me today. I always carry chains and padlocks in my car trunk, not for me but for my photos.” -Helmut Newton, Press conference, Austria, 1984