Paola Mills, an expert photographer in the virtual world, is exhibiting a series of captivating images at the Nitroglobus Roof Art Gallery, owned and curated by Dido Haas. The photographic composition is titled “Nudes” and is a tribute to Helmut Newton.
For those not familiar, Helmut Newton is one of the most controversial figures in the photography world. He began to devote himself to fashion photography thanks to Elsie Neulander Simon; a Berlin photographer specialized in fashion, portraits, and nudes.
Who Helmut Newton is
Newton was forced to emigrate to Australia because of the fascist regime, and he also lived in Paris, Monte Carlo and Los Angeles. The English version of Vogue in the 1950s allowed him to win his first successes after that Newton became one of the most exciting fashion photographers of all time.
The apex of his career took place in the 60s and 70s when he became a real celebrity.
Newton is famous both for his fashion photography and for his portraits of the great characters of the ‘900. He has published dozens of books, and his works have been spread all over the world.
The opinions on Helmut Newton are the most different. For some, he is a genius, who has elevated fashion photography to art, for others a misogynist, who has crossed the line of acceptability. Newton was aware of the adverse reactions he aroused in the audience and built his character around the reputation of “bad boy.” One of his most famous phrases was: “You always have to live up to your bad reputation.”
I had already anticipated that Newton became famous in the 1960s when he began to introduce elements of sadomasochism, voyeurism, and homosexuality in fashion photography. He shows women in all their erotic charge; in some images, they on a sofa full of post-coital satisfaction.
Newton’s career accompanied by the taste of provocation. In 1974 he released his first book “White Women” which was a huge success. However, some accused Newton of racism because of the title of the book. He responded to the accusations by saying that the reasons for this scandal were not understood, given that in the book there was no image of any black woman.
Newton’s models are tall, strong and muscular, or the prototype of the 80s woman. The scenarios he represents are the manifestation of his repressed fantasies, and it is understandable that for some his work was degrading to the image of women.
Nowadays, Newton’s images don’t even seem so provocative anymore, because what was politically incorrect today is porn-chic.
Helmut Newton had well understood that the more his works were ambiguous, the more they disoriented the observer and the more they would remain indelible in memory.
Although the contents have always had more attention than the photography technique, Newton’s lights and compositions are impeccable.
The tribute to Newton by Paola Mills
Paola Mills wants to donate a tribute to the artist Newton: it is a way to remember him, to entice people who visit the exhibition to read up on him, his technical ability and his ability to go against conventions and to challenge, with style and elegance, the observer’s gaze.
Paola’s images are inspired by Newton’s “Nudes” collection which takes their name in the current exhibition. They are, undoubtedly, very sensual and provocative, although Mills emphasizes that she does not intend to provoke the minds of visitors, but to remember and evoke the intentions of breaking with Newton’s typical social conventions.
Paola Mills presents us with a female avatar that exudes sensuality, despite its virtuality, succeeding in its intent, therefore.
The exhibition of Mills will remain open during the months of April-May at the Nitroglobus Roof Art Gallery.