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L’effet Newton

19/11/2009 - par Mark Tungate (tungateinparis@hotmail.com)

I was lucky enough to be back in Berlin the other day, attending a digital marketing conference that just happened to coincide with the anniversary of the fall of the Wall. Both these things were inspiring in their own way, but I also took time out to discover the Helmut Newton Foundation.

I was aware of Newton's work, of course: the provocative, sex-drenched images of Amazonian women in towering heels; or else the bizarre, stark portraits, saturated by the flash as if the victim has been caught in the glare of car headlights. But seeing all his work together made me appreciate his talent anew. His vision was strong, unwavering and utterly confident. A short film shows him photographing the actress Sigourney Weaver. Just by the way he makes Weaver stand and tilt her chin, we see her becoming more beautiful before his lens.

Recently, I've been talking to a few people about the relationship between luxury brands and the Internet. Luxury brands are hesitant about entering the digital world, but I don't understand why. If they can unearth a photographer as provocative and brilliant as Helmut Newton for glossy magazines, surely they can do the same thing for the Web? The job of the luxury fashion brands is to find the digital Helmut Newtons: the talents that will shock and awe us.

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L’effet Newton

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