Jodie Foster. Photographed by Helmut Newton, Vogue April 1987.
Is this the best she ever looked? The spitting image of Tamara Lempicka, Jodie Foster is both sultry and classy here. What was it about Newton that made him capable of making all of the women he photographed look strong and sexy? No other photographer has been able to accomplish that feat so consistently. I've been pondering this subject for the last few days as the scandal around Terry Richardson has been picking up steam. Terry is often, erroneously, compared to Newton, but Terry's work has none of the delicacy and beauty that even Newton's most extreme work did. Yes, Newton sought to shock at times, but that was secondary to creating a beautiful image and having the woman look beautiful in it. With Terry Richardson's work it seems all about shock value, and there has been no evolution in the style or quality of his work over the last ten years. I never look at one of his photos and think that the model looks beautiful, even if it is a model I adore- his aesthetic is one based on the lowest form of photography, at home porn taken with a point and shoot, and the attempts by him and the industry to raise it to art have failed.