I found Newton’s work very inspiring, although at first sight it frequently looked almost like a commercial fashion or portrait shoot, there is more to his pictures. Not just the erotic element of a seductive woman but also the location and the settings of the scene – it was what he described a kind of “social reportage” – documenting the way a certain kind of woman lived, her evolution, documenting what he saw and reconstructing what he had witnessed giving his own interpretation.
However, he was always the voyeur maintaining a slightly detached curiosity.
Newton seemed highly conscious of the fact that the arousal of longing and lust is determined above all by observation, through the complex game of “seeing and being seen”.
We see something that arouses our desire, but the object of our desire remains at a certain distance, a distance that is actually necessary, because if the distance is abolished and subject and object converge, the craving is fulfilled and the desire disappears.
As a photographer Newton saw himself as the ultimate voyeur: “Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar.”
Photography is the ultimate medium of observation, of that game of showing or concealing.