Helmut Newton

RECENTLY, WHEN I HAD REASON to look at a lot of Helmut Newton photos, I underwent a reaction worthy of further investigation. Imaginarily disordered by the elixir of these fabulous images, not unlike Jerry Lewis turning into hipster Buddy Love in The Nutty Professor, I felt so glamorous that I went right into Bendel’s and found something on sale I never would have considered trying on, even venturing into the Fancy section, where I only go when I am feeling especially spirited, and handling really expensive pants. With a bit of reflection, my radical failure of sublimation, the palpable slippage between my enjoyment of the Newton photos and my urge to shop, began to seem less and less strange . . . but would others see it this way?

The conflict between Art and liking nice things has been noted by others greater than I. The intro to a volume of Stendhal’s travel pieces dismisses them as

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