& Der Helmut
Just the other week our own Fashion Museum in Hasselt launched their Paul Smith Expo and I have enjoyed every minute of it. A very inspiring and entertaining human being Sir Paul is. Besides the fact that getting him and his travelling circus of Hello, my name is Paul Smith: Fashion and Other Stories to my little town/city is an achievement on its own, so hats off there, I came home with a hunger I could not put my finger on..until now. Hunger for more creativeness.
After the storm of media Sir Paul brought to the Lowlands, there is not much else to say about this Birmingham bloke. But I will sum up some of the lessons he shared during his lecture.
- Never Assume (that makes an Ass out of U and ME..my own interpretation)
- Make sure you have earnings coming in to be able to stay edgy and creative
- Every Day is a New Beginning. How corny that may sound, it is true!
...and last but certainly no less, make sure you have a strong woman behind you for support and keeping you on this planet when another great idea popped into your head..AGAIN!!
Now the main lesson I learned during the sit-in with Sir Paul was that you can look, but not necessarily see something. And that took me to something Helmut Newton once said: I do not take my pictures in a studio, because that is not where the people live. I want to see them in a car, a house or a swimming pool. In other words it is all about what you see for both of these giants.
The last time I was in Berlin, I visited Helmut Newton's expo in the Museum für Fotografie / Helmut Newton Foundation. Again a must-see, just like Paul Smith's expo, if you want to shine a light on where creativity can get you. A vast collection of photographs, props, memorabilia, diaries, books, etc. suck you into the life of yet another great mind.
Born a Jew, Newton (born Neustädter) escaped Nazi Germany in 1938. Even though he was kept in a concentration camp briefly, right on time. After settling in Australia first he became a British subject and changed his name to Newton. He quickly was picked up as a fashion photographer and soon started to get a name with his erotic and masochistic portrayals of his subjects. Although he already was the man back then, his series Big Nudes from 1980 launched him to a greater audience. And the rest is history as they say..
Helmut died after crashing his car into a wall at the Chateau Marmont Hotel in LA, his abode for several years at that time. His ashes are buried next to Marlene Dietrich in Berlin.
One was, and one still is a passionate photographer but their expo's are both equally worth visiting. Paul Smith's expo until 07.06.2015 in Fashion Museum Hasselt (Belgium) and Newton's permanent expo in Berlin.