The exhibition "Men, War & Peace" at the Helmut Newton Foundation presents work by James Nachtwey and David LaChapelle, two photographers of international reputation, alongside a selection of Helmut Newton's portraits of men.
American fashion and lifestyle photographer David LaChapelle, with his original visual language, has depicted staged images of hedonistic society in a vibrant and iconoclastic way for more than a decade. He creates colourful, ironic and provocative images of the desire/dream machine that is the USA. In his photography we meet many of those in whom the mass media take interest: Marilyn Manson and Madonna, Pamela Anderson and Eminem, Paris Hilton and Leonardo diCaprio. Each setting is designed to be as artificial as possible and it is these obsessively composed scenarios that form the stylistic basis for his extraordinary photographs, many of which unabashedly court controversy.
In contrast, the American war photographer, James Nachtwey, imbues his imagery with a humane, moral tenor and delivers us a shocking series of photographs from the war zones of our time. He is the epitome of the 'engaged photographer', and succeeds in capturing the essence of existence within a frame. In spite of their dramatic realism his photographs possess a surreal quality that engraves itself into our collective consciousness, as we witness the drama of life unfold before us on an epic scale.
© Photo James Nachtwey/VII agency