Nudity - Is it Shocking or just Real?

Coming from a completely different culture where we hardly talk openly about "nudity", the exhibition of Helmut Newton's photographs at Fotografiska in Stockholm, Sweden was scintillating for me. I got an opportunity to be there few days back.



The museum welcomes us with a quote by Helmut Newton, "Nothing is more revealing than Nudity, even when it's dressed".

Well the quote did its magic on me and I hurried to the exhibition hall to explore the meaning through all his photographs.





But before exploring some of Helmut Newton's work here, I would like to mention about one of the photographs which remains my personal favorite. It was clicked by another photographer and was for sale. I can't stop admiring the lady in it!

I am really in a dilemma who is more mesmeric, the photograph or the lady in it?



I believe that human body is one of the most astonishing creations in the universe. It is adorable, lovable, magical and mysterious. But never did I think of "nudity" separately.

While witnessing Helmut's work , I realized there is a subtle difference between a photograph and a painting or a sculpture. A painting or a sculpture gives us an extra place for imagination but photographs depict the exact reality.



I like this capture. It is revealing yet mysterious, bold, sensuous, seductive and expressive. I can go on adding adjectives to it. What I appreciate about this photograph is its simple approach.
This erotically charged black and white photo is a viewer's delight.


Helmut Newton rightly said
"My job as a portrait photographer is to seduce, amuse and  entertain".




This picture is different but do we have any scope for imagination here?

I would like to emphasize another quote by Helmut Newton here, which was displayed in the exhibition hall.

I do love reactions. I seek them out. Don't like kindness and niceness. The fact that a shock doesn't come from a desire to provoke, but , when I am trying to attain a new photographic effect, new visual tensions, some subjects just impose themselves on me. The only provocation I loathe is that of surrealist image. In my universe, it can have no place".






What I could decipher from this picture is , that clothing is symbolic. Perhaps it's a symbol of power, sophistication and can portray either an illusion or reality.









The only thing I was wondering (at the risk of sounding feminist) - why most of the pictures were meant for a male gaze?

Possibly I would end up reading his three books, namely, White women, Big Nudes and Sleepless Nights.










One can instantly recognize Helmut Newton's photos. They are simple yet detailed.

Abundance of eroticism, sensuality, provocation and ideas signifies Helmut Newton's work to me.










I realized a simple thing after seeing these sensuous photographs. Any inhibitions can never make us free. I am not that shy person anymore who hesitates to talk and discuss about a sensuous topic. It is a lovely change and realization within, which art loving Europe has gifted me!



I would also like to mention about the top floor cafeteria of the Fotografiska museum. It is truly an exotic place with a wonderful view of Stockholm outside.

The visit to Fotografiska will remain in my memories forever. Do plan to visit it if you are in Stockholm!


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