If you’re a photography fan and happen to be in Paris between now and June 17th, it’s worth checking out the Helmut Newton exhibition at the newly refurbished east wing of the Grand Palais. On entry a stunning, century old staircase leads the way to an airy contemporary cultural space. The perfect backdrop to showcase 200 black and white original photos, all shot by Newton. Beautiful ladies and ‘big nudes’ aside, this expo offers a chance to discover Newton’s unique vision and to explore some of the secrets behind his work in a beautiful, historical, Parisian setting.
I found Newton’s world and imagination striking, sometimes shocking and seriously impressive. Urban Parisien style shots of the 1970s are amongst some of my favourites. Throughout this time in Paris, his approach with Yves Saint Laurent, working for Vogue and Elle, Newton captured some of the most classic, timeless images from a fashion era gone by. This image of Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘Le Smoking’, shot by Helmut Newton on Rue Aubriot in 1975, reveals then and now the essence of Parisian chic. It’s truly iconic.
‘Some people’s photography is an art. Mine is not. If they happen to be exhibited in a gallery or a museum, that’s fine. But that’s not why I do them. I am a gun for hire”. .(Helmut Newton)
Expo: Helmut Newton, Place: La Grand Palais until the 17th of June 2012. Notes: Do go early and book online to avoid queues and crowds.