I have always been intrigued by the images of the late Helmut Newton, they are challenging, sophisticated and dark revealing a fascinating man who set a current of excitement in the world of fashion photography when he first started out. Under his influence, fashion became an amazing hardcore spectacle, sometimes violent, setting standards for contemporary photographers to this day. I finished reading his self-penned biography a couple of weeks ago and have been thinking about writing a Newton post ever since. The keys to his success are in this book. He recounts the playboy existence he led across the world, his first steps in the world of photography aged 16, his sheltered childhood as the indulged son of wealthy Jewish industrials in Berlin and Nazi Germany, his existence as a weak little boy emasculated by his mother who insisted on dressing him as a delicate girl, his discovery of Berlin's gutter aged 8 in the company of his brother, the first girlfriends and a passion for swimming, his time spent as a gigolo to an older woman in Singapore. He writes a raw and honest account of his life showing an exuberance for life despite war, family separation and having to live in new countries. His unexpected background is outrageous, full of joy and sex. His images are clearly interpretations of his life. His voyeuristic interest dates back to his childhood in Berlin, a city that marked his theatrical working style. He provoked society by bringing eroticism and fetishism into mainstream fashion photography in the seventies, selecting statuesque models with Aryan looks, aloof and glacial expressions to embody the decadence of his dreams. His narratives are always strange and slightly disturbing: a kind of perverse vision accompanied by incredible technique, intense preparation and strong compositions. In his world, the female body is a passion he explores with mystery, games, glamour and luxury. His photos take you to Europe's most sumptuous hotels, Hollywood apartments, Riviera swimming-pools, old cobbled streets at midnight, the scent of depravation prevails and the women are intensely sexual yet emotionally detached, airless. His memoir is highly entertaining and gives you a more intimate view of the man responsible for the first edgy fashion photographs. Read it now!