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Kristen McMenamy & Helmut Newton

Posted by Meghan
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Kristen McMenamy by Helmut Newton for Vogue, November 1995

 

Lately I’ve been noticing photos of Kristen McMenamy by Helmut Newton for Absolut Vodka circulating around the internet, which reminded me of a video from ShowStudio last year where Nick Knight discusses Helmut Newton with Kristen McMenamy. It had me thinking about the professional relationship between the photographer and the model. I have strong mental associations between Kristen McMenamy and Helmut Newton—perhaps I’m not the only one. But when I went digging for what I imagined would be a store of images from the two it came up somewhat short. For a while they were collaborating pretty often for American Vogue but beyond that there isn’t that much work (that I can locate online) between the two of them. Kristen belongs to the old guard of models from the 80s and 90s—Linda, Christy, Naomi, Nadja —who approached modeling like a craft. They put absolutely all of themselves into an image and it shows. We still fawn over these pictures today, they’ve lost nothing of their magnetism. And of course, Helmut Newton, whether you love him, hate him, or can’t decide, is likewise among the greatest of the greats in his field. This matching of energy between photographer and model, the possibly masochistic commitment to creating a brilliant image is what makes the few photos made by these two seem so remarkable. You see it, too, in the photos for Versace with Kristen and Richard Avedon. It speaks to the effort put forth by both parties when such established photographers like Avedon and Newton can create such stunning photos with the face of new, androdynous beauty. Old genius meets new genius and we’re still smitten with these pictures 20 years later.

 

Kristen McMenamy by Helmut Newton for Absolut Vodka, 1995.

 

Kristen McMenamy by Helmut Newton for Absolut Vodka, 1995.

 

Kristen McMenamy by Helmut Newton for Vogue, January 1993

 

Kristen McMenamy for Mario Valentino Fall/Winter 1988 by Helmut Newton

 

Rachel Williams, Kristen McMenamy & Eva Herzigova (in right photo only) by Helmut Newton for Vogue, May 1993

 

(L) Kristen McMenamy and Nadja Auermann by Helmut Newton for Vogue, September 1993  (R) Kristen McMenamy by Helmut Newton

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