The pop up ONGallery opened this weekend in Putney for a 3 days exhibition about Helmut Newton’s vintage prints (1967 – 2000).
And oh boy! Even if you know the artist was a provocative photograph and you’re gonna see lots of sexy poses and other nudes, you are still positively shocked how well-done it is!
Newton truly knew how to stage his models: the lights, the frame, the pose, the bodies, the settings, all are perfect. He created his own filmic atmosphere, using the background (sometime a simple window or a car) to magnify the model and exploiting the black and white at its best helping the viewer to focus on the essential – a face for the portrait of Charlotte Rampling, 1967 or an ass for Winnie at the Negresco, 1975.
It is flawless and often fun.
Plus, it is so good (and still too rare) to see pictures of self-confident women, assuming fully their body and feminity, it is empowering!
As the pop up is now closed, you may see the works online from the gallery website here.
|Rue Aubriot, 1975
One of my favourite art historian, Richard Leeman, told us one day “we look at the famous painting ‘Birth of Venus’ from Sandro Botticelli and we can converse for hours about Neo-Platonism, write books about its position in the artist’s life, the impact it has in art history or for contemporary artists… but this is also a lovely naked woman who is still pleasant to look at, even centuries after being paint”. I think this is a pretty good definition for this chef d’oeuvre and it shows how ambiguous and powerful an image can be!
Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus (c. 1486)
At first, I didn’t like much this video.
I didn’t know what to expect and I had lots of questions when it ends: is it a happy ending or not? Is this guy the same as before? What was the message here exactly? Drawings and situations are very ordinary but isn’t is our daily life? Would I reacted the same way or not? Etc.
But maybe this is what art is : how a simple video or music or picture.. can raises questions about yourself, retune your opinions…
And yes! Even on your way to the grocery store, you may meet someone who will change your life,…and if it doesn’t happen there, then, this may happen in many other occasions. Isn’t it great? 🙂
I discovered this song few weeks ago at the excellent show of Lauren Laverne on BBC6 radio and every time I listen to it, I can’t stop smiling and got the feeling I am in Ibiza, having a Caipirinha on the beach!
So, because today it rains, it is dark outside, it is cold, we are in November, Bank station was an awful mess this morning (more than usual!) and because it is only Tuesday… 🙂
Stephane Dessaint, Ibiza 1, 2015