On October 9th in New York, Sotheby's will stage a stunning sale of photographs including several nude portraits of supermodels, with work from the likes of Chuck Close, Peter Beard, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton and more. One of the top lots is a series of six full frontal nudes of Kate Moss by Chuck Close taken in 2003, estimated at $100,000 - $150,000. Another high-priced draw is a portfolio of 12 semi-nude images of Marilyn Monroe taken in 1962 by Lawrence Schiller, estimated at $50,000 - $70,000. Two Peter Lindbergh portraits of Mick Jagger taken in 1995 are estimated at $30,000 - $50,000. And a nude of Stephanie Seymour by Richard Avedon taken in 1992 is estimated at $20,000 - $30,000, while this relatively tame image of Nadja Auermann by Irving Penn from 1994 is also a relative bargain at $6,000 - $9,000.
The other day we wrote about some of Helmut Newton's work being offered at auction. Sadly, Newton died in 2004, but a few photographers are carrying on in his spirit of fashion-meets-fine art-meets-erotica. Chief among them is German lensman Stefan May, who has a brilliant, lavish new monograph coming out from teNeues on June 15 titled Women Only. The book, available for pre-order from Amazon, cements May's place as the master of the sensual nude. The collection combines duotone and color images in an imaginative assortment, and the "contrast between photographic modes helps the reader fully appreciate form and texture, as well as interplays of light and shadow." It's also damned hot.
Masterful works by Helmut Newton and Peter Beard star in Sotheby's Photographs sale in London on Tuesday. Prices have come down from their pre-crash levels so no doubt many of the lots will seem like relative bargains when the market recovers. The sale's highlight is Newton's sexy Mannequins Quai D'Orsay, Paris, 1977 (above), estimated at about $18,000 - $27,000. Also on offer is his Winnie at the Negresco, Nice, 1975, est. at about $9,000 - $12,000. Among the Beard works in the sale are Cheetah Cub Orphans in Mweiga, 1968, est. at about $22,000 - $30,000, and From 'The End of the Game', 1964, est. at about $15,000 - $23,000.
In conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the house of Yves Saint Laurent, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is staging a major retrospective of the designer's creations, the first such show in 25 years. Open as of Thursday, the exhibition "develops the revolutionary nature of a body of work that has marked both the past and the present with a new definition of femininity and left a signature that transcends fashion." Pictured above is one of his most famous designs, the women's tuxedo known as "Le Smoking," as photographed by Helmut Newton in 1975.
The show is divided into four main themes: The Stroke of a Pencil, where "the designer's idea is followed from the original sketch"; The Yves Saint Laurent Revolution, where "feminized versions of men's attire rub shoulders with seductive apparel"; The Palette, which "shows how traditional rules of color harmony were reversed in new contrasts inspired by cross-fertilization"; and our favorite, Lyrical Sources, which "explores the historical, literary -- Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, Louis Aragon, Jean Cocteau -- and artistic influences that were interpreted and translated by this genius of couture." The exhibition runs until Sept. 28 and then travels to San Francisco's de Young Museum.
Gallery: Yves Saint Laurent Exhibit
Also included in the amazing auction is Helmut Newton's 1975 photo of Elsa Peretti, est. $24,000 - $30,000, and his 1987 portrait of Jodie Foster, est. $14,000 - $18,000; Andy Warhol's Polaroid of Muhammad Ali taken in 1977, est. $10,000 - $14,000; David Bailey's 1969 double portrait of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, est. $20,000 - $30,000; and a recent print made from Bert Stern's famed Marilyn Monroe series (recently aped by Lindsay Lohan), est. $6,000 - $8,000. See the gallery for more.
Gallery: Sotheby's Photo Auction Stars
Highlights include Francesco Scavullo's 1984 portrait of Sting, est. $1,800 - $2,200, pictured here; Roy Schatt's 1954 photo of James Dean, est. $1,500 - $2,500; several works by Herb Ritts including a 1986 Madonna portrait, est. $4,000 - $6,000, and a muscle-bound Fred With Tires, 1984, est. $8,000 - $12,000; a 1977 Christopher Makos photo of Andy Warhol, est. $4,000 - $6,000; and Helmut Newton's 1981 full-frontal Sylvia in My Studio, Paris, est. $4,000 - $6,000. Catch a preview below.
Gallery: Swann Photo Auction
In 1962, Esquire magazine sent photographer Jerry Schatzberg to Paris to cover the behind-the-scenes action at the Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent shows, at what promised to be an historic fashion moment. Indeed it was, and Schatzberg's shoot turned out brilliantly; the full results have finally been collected in book form, under the title Paris 1962: Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior, The Early Collections. Schatzberg was no mere paparazzo; a renowned fashion photographer and filmmaker, he's perhaps best known for the cover of Bob Dylan's 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. His journalistic, documentary style ran counter to the usual carefully-posed fashion shoots of the time, which gave the 1962 session added urgency. But first, a little background.
Famed designer Christian Dior had died five years earlier, in 1957. Yves Saint Laurent, only 22 years old at the time, had been named as his replacement, creating a stunning new collection in a matter of weeks. Laurent held the appointment for only a short time, however, as he was soon conscripted to serve in the French army during the Algerian War of Independence. The fragile fashionista lasted less than a month before a nervous breakdown saw him committed to a mental institution. Meanwhile, Marc Bohan had taken over at Dior, leading Saint Laurent to file for breach of contract.
Gallery: Dior & YSL, Then and Now