Size matters

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Few photographers hold the same prestige as Helmut Newton. The man’s power and influence in the industries of fashion and beauty were potent while he was alive (he passed in 2004), and are very much referenced to this day. Born in Berlin in 1920, moving to Australia in 1940 to meet and marry June Brunell (in Alice Springs of all places), Newton quickly became the photographer to turn to, to capture the most amazing angles of the body beautiful. Often he’d shoot in exotic locales, but he never let his setting interfere with the main subject: this being the model, muse or celebrity.

In 1999, Newton and June worked with 50 assistants to compile a massive project of a book called ‘Sumo’. Living up to its name, the finished tome was 480 pages thick, a metre in height, and weighed 30kgs. Suffice to say, it took two people to carry it from bookshelf to coffee table to peruse. Ten years after its original publication, Taschen Books have published a more user-friendly version of the book, dubbing it ‘Sumo Jr’, that contains the exact same image content as the original but in 10.5 x 14.7 inch format. Despite the reduction in size, the photographs are still of excellent resolution, the stock is still lush, and the book comes with its own minimalist stand, making it a fabulous conversation piece in any living room or library.

Helmut Newton’s ‘Sumo’ is published through Taschen and available through Tower Books. Enquiries on (02) 9975 5566 or visit