Every year I go to Berlin for June Newton’s birthday and the opening of the new exhibition at the Helmut Newton Foundation. It is a pleasure and a tradition,
a beautiful moment to always cherish. Both June and Helmut have meant a lot to me. They added force and courage to my passion for photography since the inception of my Gallery.
June Newton – Alice Spring. Her professional name as a photographer is also famous, and her pictures have a strength that stands out. This year’s exhibition – US and THEN – is about her work as Alice Spring, and Helmut’s work together.
It was a beautiful moment here in Milano in 1999 when both June and Helmut were here to install the exhibition of their work in the Galleria – her portraits next to his, often portraits of the same people – a different eye – the same eye. A great show.
Angelo and Kris have become friends during these years of meeting in Berlin at the Foundation’s annual party. Standing here next to a photograph of June by Helmut, one of my favorites.
In Berlin now is the exhibition “Sex and Lanscapes”. I recalled August 1996 and Helmut Newton started working on the project for an exhibition here at my Galleria that he called “impressions”. They were 30 inkjet prints; very large, and none of them had been exhibited before. They were printed especially for this show by Helmut who chose a variety of works from different times. They were his “impressions” inspired by the sexy quick-fire language found in magazines like “True Crime”, or the novels of Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane, whom Newton admired greatly.
During the same time, Newton also showed here at the Gallery his “Big Nudes”, and we put huge posters in the garden. I think I was more daring then! It must have been the influence of June and Helmut who always delighted in opening people’s eyes! Today we have the garden café, but in 1996 it was still a garage….
And these very big nudes.
In the small Gallery, Newton had decided to show a series of his polaroids. These three exhibitions together, I realize now, were so unusually strong and extraordinary.
Newton’s unseen polaroids were shown here for the first time, quick snapshots from 1989 to 1996. The polaroid was used by many photographers at this time during photo shoots. It often captured a situation, an expression, a sensation; a fresh spontaneity that could easily be lost with other techniques. Newton’s balance between these small moments and the Big Nudes was in keeping with his ever curious eye.
Memories: The facade of the 10 Corso Como courtyard without a single plant and Newton’s big poster hanging above the door was quite amazing,
now nearly 20 years ago.