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Helmut Newton 3

(2007-05-10 16:04:56)
分类: FELLING
Helmut Newton
赫尔穆·特牛顿
 

Helmut Newton who died on Friday in Los Angeles aged 83 brought fashion photography out of the polite demure world of Norman Parkinson and placed it on the edge of pornography where the provocative image often seems to count rather more than the clothes on display.

Indeed it was Newton’s work that inspired the term “Porno Chic”. His photographs were highly stylised essays in erotica with the spectator cast as voyeur. Often their inspiration can be traced back to the Weimar and Nazi cultures in which Newton grew up. Typically these pictures show tall hardfaced Aryan beauties with flashing breasts and killer stares ready for sin and eager to dominate.

“My camera is often low” Newton explained “because I like the illusion of looking up. I like superwomen physically strong and masterful. I like them very white sickly almost blue.” The search is for striking images drained of humanity and for an atmosphere at once cruel and glacial. “I hate sentimentality and romanticism” he once said. “You should feel that under the right conditions all women would be available.”

Newton would describe the multitude of sexual adventures he experienced as a young man without ever giving the impression that his feelings had been touched and in his pictures too he remained deliberately distant from his subjects. “The women you see in my photographs” he explained “are my ideal women. The less I know of them the better. The more I know the more disillusioned I become. I lose the glamour the aura the illusion of beauty.”

Newton knew exactly how to tread the razor’s edge between the barely acceptable and the downright pornographic. Adept at deflecting criticism with humour though also capable of tantrums he sometimes seemed to be engaged in selfparody. The truth though was that once he had hit upon his particular kinky and highly remunerative style in Paris in the 1960s he found no incentive to develop. Far from satirising the world of fashion he became enmeshed in his own images.

Helmut Newton was born in Berlin on October 31, 1920 the son of a rich button manufacturer. The family was Jewish but hardly practised its religion “We had Christmas rather than Hanukkah” Helmut remembered. “I went to the synagogue once a year. It bored the s out of me.”

Notwithstanding his bourgeois background Helmut became highly conscious of the sleazier aspects of Berlin under the Weimar Republic the whores he noted had an inborn sense of fashion. He found the Werner Trotschke Gymnasium school rather less inspiring and did not shine at his studies.

On his own account Helmut excelled at only three subjects swimming photography and sex. From the age of 12 when he was given a Box Brownie he wanted to be a photographer. “You’ll end up in the gutter” his father warned. “I’m still not far from the gutter I’m glad to say” Newton reflected towards the end of his life. “I like it down there.”

Apprenticed to a Berlin photographer called Yva—“of course I was in love with her”—Helmut made good progress. From 1935 however it was obvious that the family was in peril in Germany and in 1938 they fled from Germany. Helmut’s parents went to Argentina he would see his mother only twice more in his life and his father who died before the war was over not at all.

Helmut himself took a steamboat to Singapore where he worked briefly as a photographer. Nevertheless he remained alert enough to escape to Australia before the arrival of the Japanese in February 1942.

As he still had a German passport he was sent to an internment camp. Later he served as a truckdriver in the Australian army and with the return of peace opened a studio in Melbourne. In 1948 Newton as he had now become married an actress called June Browne who not only became a photographer herself under the name of Alice Springs but for the rest of his life became his professional collaborator editor and inspiration. They did not have children.

The marriage began in penury though things looked up after 1952 when Newton became the first contract photographer for American Vogue. A spell on British Vogue in the mid1950s was not a success in London Newton thought he took the worst pictures of his life owing largely he opined to the British lack of talent for sex.

Matters improved after he went to Paris in 1957. Encouraged by the editors of French Vogue and of such magazines as Elle and Marie Claire he began to construct the meticulously cold stark sets that characterised his fashion work throughout the 1960s and 1970s. He found props in sex shops and developed a penchant for strong leggy women.


After suffering a nearfatal heart attack in New York in 1971 Newton emerged with a new set of priorities and began to concentrate more on nudes and portraits. His wife encouraged him to take pictures “from inside himself” based on memories of his youth in Berlin.

He stopped photographing women on the streets and went into their bedrooms where he evinced similar predilections. “I gave up fashion because I wanted to do nudes” he said. “Fashion is easier. Fashion hides things. Photographing someone totally naked is very difficult trying to get skin texture right.”

Newton preferred to use natural light and continued to work primarily in black and white. But he gave up 35mm film relying instead on a German camera of prewar design and a Rolleiflex.

As for portraits he concentrated on witty rather cruel portrayals of society figures movie stars and European royalty. But his style did not essentially change thus the fashion icon Tina Chow was shown in silken bonds and Catherine Deneuve with a cigarette in her mouth. But when Annie Leibovitz suggested a fullfrontal nude portrait of Newton he demurred.

Newton’s books include White Women 1976 Sleepless Nights 1978 Big Nudes 1982 and World Without Men 1984. When a critic of the last work accused him of taking the fun out of sex Newton protested “I don’t think sex should be fun. Sex is deadly serious. Otherwise it’s not sexy. To me there’s got to be a great element of sin to get people all excited. I don’t see any fun. That’s an American attitude fun in sex.”

Latterly based in Monte Carlo Newton went on working to the end. His book Us and Them 1999 celebrated 51 years of marriage with such images as June raking out the fire and ironing naked while the happy husband prances before a mirror wearing nothing but a pair of black holdup stockings.

Another book Sumo 1999 won a reputation as one of the heaviest tomes of the 20th century. Thirtyone inches high it weighed 26 kilos and cost £625 a copy Brad Pitt bought several. In London an exhibition of Newton’s work at the Mayor Gallery in 2002 was entitled Sex and Landscape. Last year Newton published a volume of autobiography covering his life up to his marriage.

Helmut Newton’s wife survives him.


 

赫尔穆特·牛顿于周五在洛杉矶辞世,享年83岁。这位曾经打破诺曼·帕金森式文雅、端庄风格的天下的摄影家,将时装摄影推到了刻划情欲的边缘,在他的作品中,那些具有挑逗性的形象往往比她们展示的服装更为重要。

实际上,正是牛顿的作品激发了“色情时尚”这一词汇的产生。他的摄影作品是高度风格化了的色情创作,观众则扮演了窥淫癖的角色。人们通常认为这种灵感可以追溯到影响牛顿成长的魏玛和纳粹文化。他的作品特色是展现面色冷峻的高个雅利安美女,她们闪烁的乳房和咄咄逼人的眼神暗示着邪恶与征服的渴望。


“我总是采用低机位拍摄,”牛顿解释道,“因为我喜欢仰视的幻觉。我喜欢身体强壮、傲慢的超级女性,我喜欢把她们拍得很白,苍白惨淡,甚至白到泛蓝。”他的这种追求为了展现一种人性枯竭的惊人形象,并营造既残酷又冷漠的气氛。牛顿曾说过:“我讨厌多愁善感和浪漫主义。你应该能感觉到,在一定条件下,所有的女人都能成为这样。”



牛顿会描述自己年轻时许多性经历而从不给人留下他曾经动过感情的印象,同样在他的作品中,他也有意拉开与拍摄主体的距离。他说,“你们在我图片中看到的女性是我理想中的女性。我对她们了解越少越好,因为知道越多,我就会变得越幻灭。那样我就会失去想象的魔力,失去那种氛围,失去对美的幻想。”



牛顿十分清楚该如何把握尺度,他的作品恰恰处于刚好被接受和露骨的色情之间。他善于通过幽默来转移批评(尽管他也很会发脾气),有时候他好像在做自嘲式的模仿。然而事实却是在20世纪60年代的巴黎,当他突然找到这一极其古怪却又极为有利可图的风格时,便再也没有什么能激发他继续发展了。他并非去讽刺时装界,而是深深地陷入了自己的作品之中。




赫尔穆特·牛顿1920年10月31日出生在柏林,父亲是个富有的纽扣生产商。他家是犹太人,但几乎不信奉犹太教。赫尔穆特曾回忆道,“我们过圣诞节,而不过犹太教的光明节?我一年才去一次犹太教会堂,这简直把我烦死了。”


尽管赫尔穆特出身中产阶级家庭,但他对于在魏玛共和国领导下的柏林的低级庸俗方面却极为关注。他曾指出,娼妓天生就有时尚感。他认为沃纳·特罗史克高级中学不太能激发灵感,因此他的学习并不出色。


就赫尔穆特而言,他仅仅在以下三个方面出众:游泳、摄影和。牛顿在12岁时收到了一个布朗尼方盒照相机,那时他就想成为一名摄影师。而他的父亲则警告他:那样“你最终会沦为一个穷人”。牛顿在晚年回想道,“我很愿意承认的是,现在我离穷人也不远。我喜欢那样的生活。”


赫尔穆特师从柏林女摄影家伊娃,他说“当然我在爱她,”从此进步很大。但从1935年开始,显然全家在德国处于危险境地,因此他们在1938年逃离德国。赫尔穆特的父母去了阿根廷,后来他又见了他母亲两次,而他的父亲在战争结束之前便去世了,赫尔穆特也就无缘再与他相见。



赫尔穆特自己则乘坐一艘汽船到了新加坡,在那里他做了短时间的摄影师。但他仍然保持警惕,在1942年2月日本人入侵新加坡之前便逃到了澳大利亚。


由于赫尔穆特仍然持有德国护照,所以被遣送至一个集中营。之后,他在澳大利亚军中服役,担任卡车司机。随着和平的到来,他在墨尔本开设了自己的摄影工作室。1948年牛顿和他现在的妻子——演员琼恩·布朗——结婚,布朗后来不仅自己成为一名摄影师(以艾丽丝·斯普林斯的名字),还是牛顿余生的职业合作伙伴、编辑和灵感源泉。他们没有子女。



他们的婚后生活起初比较贫苦,但自从1952年牛顿成为《时尚》美国版的首位签约摄影师之后情况就有所好转。20世纪50年代中期牛顿曾在《时尚》英国版呆过一段时间,但反响并不大。他认为在伦敦的那段时间他拍的片子是他一生中最为糟糕的,而他将原因归结为英国人缺乏性爱天赋。


1957年他到了巴黎之后境遇开始改善,在《时尚》法国版以及《Elle》、《Marie Claire》(分别与《世界时装之苑》和《嘉人》杂志有版权合作)等杂志编辑的鼓励下,牛顿开始树立自己的时装摄影风格,模特小心谨慎的冷漠与赤裸的布景成为牛顿风靡六七十年代的主要特征。他在成人用品商店找一些小道具做点缀,对健壮而又大腿修长匀称的女性有强烈的偏爱。

1971年,牛顿在约纽有一次严重的心脏病发作,险些丢掉性命。在那之后,他开始以一种新的面貌出现,将创作重点集中在人体和肖像摄影上。他的妻子鼓励他以年轻时在柏林的经历为基础,从“内心深处”从事拍摄。

他不再拍摄大街上的女人,而是走进她们的卧室,在卧室他显示了同样的喜好。他说:“我放弃时装摄影是因为我想拍摄人体。时装拍摄固然容易一些,但时装也掩盖了许多东西。拍摄一个完全裸体的人是很困难的,因为你要拍摄真实的皮肤质感”。


牛顿喜欢采用自然光拍摄,并且继续以拍摄黑白照片为主。但他不用35毫米胶片,而是采用德国战前设计的一款相机和禄来单反照相机。


对人像摄影来说,他注重刻画社会人物、影星以及欧洲皇室诙谐、冷酷的一面,但他的风格没有发生根本变化:于是就有了时装偶像蒂娜·乔带着绸制的镣铐的照片,有了凯瑟琳·迪诺维嘴里叼着香烟的照片。但是当安妮·雷波维兹表示要让他拍摄正面全裸像时,牛顿表示反对。


牛顿出版的画册包括《白色女人》(1976)、《无眠之夜》(1978)、《大裸女》(1982)和《没有男人的世界》(1984)。有一位评论家指控他最后一本出版画册剥夺了性中好玩的东西,牛顿反驳道:“我不认为性是可以拿来开心的。性是极严肃的,否则它就谈不上性感了。在我看来,让人性冲动是应该有罪恶感的。我不认为这有什么好玩的。认为性好玩,那是美国人的态度。”


后来居住在蒙特卡罗的牛顿一直工作不辍。为庆祝他们51周年结婚纪念日,牛顿在1999年出版了《我们和他们》,其中收录了琼恩光着身子把火耙灭和熨烫衣物的照片,而画面中快乐的丈夫则在镜前雀跃,那时除了一双黑色的长袜他。


另外一本名为《相扑》的画册则以堪称20世纪最为厚重的画册之一而著称?该书31英寸厚,重达26公斤,每本卖625英镑。布拉德·皮特买了几本。2002年,在伦敦梅厄美术馆举行的牛顿作品展被命名为“性与风景”?去年,牛顿出版了一册自传,一直写到他结婚的生活。



赫尔穆特·牛顿的妻子仍然在世。

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