Helmut Newton on display in San Gimignano, a World Heritage Site.

French Vogue, 1996. Photo by Helmut Newton

“Sensuality” by Beatrice Brandini

The grand retrospective dedicated to Helmut Newton, promoted by the Civic Museums of the Municipality of San Gimignano and produced by Opera-Civita with the collaboration of the Helmut Newton Foundation of Berlin, will be inaugurated today at the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art of San Gimignano.

The exhibition project is by Matthias Harder, curator of the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin.

Elsa Peretti, 1975. Photo by Helmut Newton

French Vogue, 1996. Photo by Helmut Newton

Dummy and Human III, Oui Magazine, 1977. Photo by Helmut Newton

I already talked about Newton in a post a few years ago, the occasion was a beautiful exhibition at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, as well as my great passion for this incredible artist. Newton is one of the most famous photographers in the world, his shots are in the Galleries, in the Museums and in the most prestigious collections. He has influenced many posthumous photographers, he has inspired artists (Tom Ford declared that it was Newton who brought him closer to this work), and made people discover and love photography, who initially didn’t even know how to click.

Amica, Milan 1982. Photo by Helmut Newton

Claudia Schiffer, Vanity Fair 1992. Photo by Helmut Newton

Stern 1997. Photo by Helmut Newton


The exhibition curator, Matthias Harder, the Mayor of San Gimignano, Giacomo Bassi, and the councilor for culture, Carolina Taddei.

His photos, so recognizable and unique, play with eroticism, opulence, bourgeois codes (and its clichés), with mystery, sensuality and irony. And this is perhaps the secret of his success. Keeping a playful and ironic candor, don’t take yourself too seriously, aware of the fact that in the end are “only” photographs.

Portrait of Catherine Deneuve for Esquire, 1976. Photo Helmut Newton

Portrait of Giovanni Agnelli for Vanity Fair, 1997. Photo Helmut Newton

Portrait of Sigourney Weaver for Vanity Fair, 1995. Photo Helmut Newton

Portrait of Elisabeth Shue, 1996,  by Helmut Newton

Remarkable is the effort to have transformed the nude into art, never banal, and to have approached it in fashion in a natural way. He was the first artist to shoot advertising campaigns for famous fashion houses or designers, using less filiform and ephebic models, enhancing them and giving the dress (client / protagonist of the shot) a secondary role. Probably no one has ever complained, the result was so powerful as to hypnotize even the most lazy or distracted eye.

Helmut Newton, laughing, said that his photographs of flowers did not interest anyone, however, and the exhibition bears witness to him, he experimented with various genres, satisfying an incredible visual curiosity. He was not interested in a single theme, although he is famous above all for the black and white shots of beautiful women, any subject could become interesting in what was his personal and visual exploration. Staying true to himself in all circumstances.

Mario Valentino, 1998. Photo by Helmut Newton

American Vogue, 1998. Photo by Helmut Newton

Mario Valentino, 1998. Photo by Helmut Newton

American Vogue, 1996. Photo by Helmut Newton

Rushmore, Italian Vogue, 1982. Photo by Helmut Newton

This beautiful exhibition in San Gimignano, shows us 60 photos of Helmut Newton never exhibited in Italy, and tells us about the different genres this great master has experimented with: portraiture (beautiful close-ups of important actors or men like that of Avv. Agnelli), advertising campaigns and shots for international magazines. One more occasion to visit San Gimignano, its beautiful walls and its incredible towers, taste its sweet wines and its tasty cold cuts and cheeses, a famous and wonderful town that every year attracts millions of tourists. It was a long time since I returned to San Gimignano, the “Medieval Manhattan” (also famous abroad), a beautiful rediscovery, a World Heritage Site, as also declared by UNESCO.


Glimpses of San Gimignano

Thierry Mugler, 1998. Photo by Helmut Newton

Thierry Mugler, 1998. Photo by Helmut Newton

Newton’s exhibition will remain open until September 1st.

Helmut Newton with his beloved muse and companion June

Banner of exhibition

“Sensual bodies” by Beatrice Brandini

“Bob cut” by Beatrice Brandini

Good life to everyone!



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