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Newton's Women

Posted on 26 November 2015

During his reign as the infamous 'king-of-kink', Hulmut Newton waged a war against the idea of a docile, subservient woman. Newton's women are strong, fierce and in charge of their sexuality. 

His erotic and provocative monochrome photographs were the mainstay of Vogue and other powerful publications. Newton's work was indicative of the sexual revolution taking place in the 60s and 70s, which saw women embrace their bodies and sexuality and was the start of his rise to fame.

Newton bought his first camera aged twelve. As a teenager, he was an apprentice to the German photographer Yva, who is also known for photographing the naked female form. After a brief period in the army, Newton began freelance work at Elle magazine and eventually moved to France in the 1950s - where he would start a revolution with his risqué photographs.

Newton’s photographs were designed to shock as he posed women in such a way that not only emphasised their sexuality, but also bought in themes of danger and violence. Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue, said that Newton "was very clear that he liked a big girl and blond girl, in an impeccable suit and high heels, [then] he would take that girl and put her in some wicked or naughty situation, kissing another woman or in handcuffs”.

When Newton died in 2004, aged eighty-three. The world mourned a man who transformed fashion photography from a static reflection of clothing and style to an artful presentation of the female body draped in a story.

From today until Saturday 27th November a carefully chosen selection of his original vintage silver gelatine prints will be displayed in the ONGallery. The 'Vintage Newton' exhibit celebrates a man who changed the face of traditional fashion photography and offers a unique opportunity to explore his work.

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