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April 19 2014

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Newton On Display in L.A.

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Villa d’ Este, Lake Como, Italy from the series White Women April 1975

“I’m not looking for a nice girl,” Helmut Newton once said. In lieu of the angular subjects that were the fashion convention in the forties when Newton began his career, the photographer sought out busty, broad-shouldered women—often blondes—whom he’d photograph in black and white, at high noon, and preferably in the nude. He rendered his muses as strong, dominant protagonists in his erotic, visual narratives, which flirted with sadomasochism. More than 100 of his subversive images are now on display at Los Angeles’ Annenberg Space for Photography. Opening to the public on Saturday, Helmut Newton: White Women • Sleepless Nights • Big Nudes comprises works from his first three books. One photograph from the seventies, “Chained Nude,” shows a model wearing only a pair of cherry-red stilettos and chains around her ankles, while another, particularly iconic shot, depicts two women—one nude, one in a black tuxedo—sharing a passionate kiss.

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