Currently reading : Yasmina Dexter chooses her favourite Helmut Newton images in celebration of his birthday
The 31st of October would have been the 94th birthday of one of our favourite photographers Helmut Newton. So it felt right to celebrate his work by asking Yasmina Dexter, a woman who on a daily basis looks as if she should exist in one of his images, Art director at LN-CC and international dj to pick her favourite photographs of his and explain why she loves them so much.
Sie Kommen (They are Coming), 1981
I remember seeing this image vividly when I was nine, my mother was a textile designer and we would get monthly subscription to Italian Vogue which I would spend hours consuming. It shocked me as a child, but in an intriguing way and it has stayed with me ever since, I was seduced by Helmut Newton for the first time. In these images he seems to be challenging the depth in world of fashion, with keeping the sense of intruige,humour and desire.
Untitled Polaroids, 1976
These Polaroid’s illustrate the roles of master and servant in equal power. In the composition of these images particularly, Newton only lets us see part of what is going on in the multi-dimensional set and makes the viewer feel voyeuristic, leaving us intrigued and wanting more. Always.
Le Smoking, Vogue Paris, 1975
A statement of femininity and sexuality that did not rely on typical features of the time, this image of the girl in the perfectly cut Le Smoking Yves Saint Laurent suit in a Parisian street is timeless. The image itself represents a time of re-invention and breaking boundaries in womenswear, with sensational elegance the images are perhaps less about gender for me but a woman exploring her sexuality.
Various polaroids from the 1970s
The combination of skin and water in these images create the perfect juxtaposition of textures. Newton created an impossible point of view with the use of light, reflections, skin, water and double stories in mirrors. There is richness to these images, and an essential touch of humour that represents Newton so strongly for me.
Big Nude III, 1981
Sumo Girl is my favourite Newton photograph. One of a series of five the image represents strength and vulnerability at the same time. Her exceptional posture, mouth open and visible teeth, covering but still revealing her pubic hair with her firm grip, there is so much grace in her body. Her perfect physicality and an imposing shadow encapsulate and dominate. I actually have a three metre high print of this photograph in my home.