Helmut Newton challenged conventions, and created a provocative, hybrid photography that embraced fashion, erotica, portrait, and documentary elements, producing a highly stylized interpretation of elegant and decadent ways of life. Newton turned his attention to making powerful, confrontational nudes. He conceived witty, erotic picture stories for the American magazine Oui, and he gave his unique twist to the creation of pictures for Playboy. Newton's portraits of celebrities became an evermore important aspect of his work, and while these were at first mostly related to the world of fashion, over the years he broadened his portfolio to include countless people who intrigued him—artists, actors, film directors, politicians, industrial magnates, the powerful and the charismatic from all spheres. Many of these photos were published through the 1980s in Vanity Fair.
Newton staged his first one-man exhibition in Paris in 1975. The following year he published his first book, White Women. Over the next twenty-five years he worked steadily and productively, publishing a series of books and creating countless exhibitions, the most impressive of which was surely the large-scale celebration of his career at the Neue National Galerie in Berlin on the occasion of his eightieth birthday in 2000, accompanied by the simply titled book, Work.
Newton was highly sought after until the end of his life. He died of injuries from a car accident at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, California in 2004. Shortly befofe his death he had established the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin, Germany, and donated approximately one-thousand of his works to his native city.
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