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This photograph "Rue Aubriot" was shot in 1975, featuring actress, Vibeke Knudsen standing alone in a lamp lit Parisian street. Styled in a deliberately androgynous outfit made up of Yves Saint Laurent's cult Le Smoking dinner jacket, pin-striped wide leg formal trousers and white tie, the photograph was to immortalize the Yves Saint Laurent aesthetic that took over the 70’s. Newton shot this night-time scene, using only the street lighting available, was directly drawn from the nocturnal photographs of his hero, Brassai. Recalling the shoot in an interview with New York Magazine in 1988 Newton said: 'Vibeke was a girl I often worked with in those days. The idea was a man-woman standing in the street at night - the street, in fact, in Paris' Marais district, where I lived for 14 years.’ Newton’s own house can be seen in the background.
Helmut Newton (1920 – 2004) was born in Berlin Germany. He was a fashion photographer who revolutionized fashion photography by his trend-setting body of work. His passion for photography developed very early. He dropped out of school and took up a job with a famous German photographer Else Simon. But his ambitions suffered a blow as his family had to leave Germany due to the German campaign against Jews and Newton found himself in Singapore. But even here, he pursued his photographic interests, although he did not achieve success. Soon, photography took a backseat as Newton had to serve in the “Australian Army” for five years. But, just as the war ended and after years of being shunted from place to place, Newton finally found himself a free man, with the freedom to pursue his dreams to start a photo studio to work on fashion photography.
For the next fifteen years, he built up a reputation for himself. Arriving in Paris he was hired immediately by French Vogue, commissioned by Playboy, had a heart attack at 50, and lived in Monte Carlo. Then in a final fling – or what Karl Lagerfeld poetically described as “his last picture taken by himself”, he crashed his Cadillac on Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles and died on January 23, 2004, at the age of 83. His style was characterized by bold, sensual and visually arresting portrayals of women shot aesthetically, with impeccable technical details. A visionary, Newton was ahead of his time and his work receives more appreciation today than it did in his lifetime.
Newton considered his “Private Property” portfolio to be his most significant and provocative accomplishment. This collection of scarce, timeless poster prints was gifted to Norman Solomon, Newton’s agent, as a thank you in recognition of Solomon’s promoting Newton’s “Private Property” series of exhibitions in 1985.