Helmut Newton


A while ago, I went to visit the exhibition “Pages from the Glossies” by the bad boy of photography Helmut Newton at his namesake foundation. The native Berliner established himself in the museum, for which he was granted unlimited use of the former military casino in Berlin-Charlottenburg (Landwehrkasino) by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz).

The exhibition presents the visitor pictures which appeared over more than four decades in Vogue, Elle, Stern, etc. Newton was regularly commissioned by publishers and editors from renowned magazines from all over the globe to shoot contemporary fashion. This continuity was an exception in the fashion world and the current exposition offers a good overview.

The entrance of the museum is in the Jebensstrasse, at the back of the Zoo station. This street was immortalized in the movie “We children of Bahnhof Zoo” with Christiane F. It was there that the rich punters were looking for young male junkies. Those were the times when Berlin wasn’t tamed yet by capitalism. Nowadays you can find a syringe dispenser in aforementioned street.

I don’t know whether it is true but a friend who lives in the area told me that the luxury hotel “Waldorf-Astoria” demanded for the bums to be expelled before committing. The sex video cabins adjacent to the station also made place for a new building. I remember not so long ago when the station was populated with low-lifes. I even spent some time with one, whom I met while he was begging. Admitting the money was for beer, my drinking partner and I invited him to a dive bar nearby. To this day I remember we were talking about Serge Gainsbourg and which song was on when we entered the bar?

Back to Helmut. Although I don’t really consider photography a fine art, I visit occasionally exhibitions in order to get some inspiration for the pictures of the escorts. Helmut has without doubt a signature style. His women were strong, dangerous and in charge of their sexuality.

The women obviously can’t afford to invest in such sophisticated pictures. Also, some girls quit when they meet someone or the one (really darling? I don’t understand why your boyfriend doesn’t agree with this job.) There was one competing agency with superb sed-cards but they required 3.000 Euros from the escort and used Photoshop extensively. At Daphne’s, we hardly resort to it except to cover e.g. bags under the eyes or stretch marks.

It took us ages though, before we came across a photographer we liked. If the first two we met, were as good as they said they were with their work, we could have stopped our search immediately. The third one was too busy, the next one we liked but he was situated in the middle of nowhere…