For the photography exhibit “Naked With a Fur Coat,” art and antiques collector Guy Regal acquired 40-plus images by the late Helmut Newton, each of which had never been seen outside of a private collection. Influencers like Andy Warhol, Paloma Picasso, Gianni Versace and Rothschild are among those Newton focused his lens on.
Why is this moment the right one for such an exhibit? “It is always the right time to present a show of a great artist’s work, especially when you discover a collection of such depth and breadth,” Regal tells EAL. “This show is a true reflection of Helmut Newton’s personal and artistic journey. The collection includes self-portraits dating back to his teenage years, as well as some of his most iconic works of cultural icons, models, and artists, that defined his generation. At a time where issues of women’s empowerment and equality in the LGBTQ communities are paramount, what stands out in this collection is how Helmut Newton imbued his subjects with strength, dignity and power.”
The exhibit opened at 49 Chambers, a historic condominium, in downtown Manhattan and will come to REGAL’S Gallery AT THE NEW YORK DESIGN CENTER on Monday.
The collection’s source is a secretive one, Regal explains, citing his long-term relationships with private collectors. “Much of the inventory in my gallery comes to me via these relationships, as did the Helmut Newton Collection. This collection has never been on the open market. It has been held by one of my clients for 30 years; they entrusted it to me because they knew that I would protect their privacy.”
The collection itself hasn’t even been seen in its entirety—yet—but it is generating buzz among collectors and those in the fashion industry alike. “We have sent out single images, and as word has spread, we have been fielding a lot of inquiries. This collection is interesting because it is eclectic, so in addition to iconic fashion shots are photographs of artists such as Andy Warhol and Salvador Dalí. As a result, we have heard from a few contemporary art collectors who do not necessarily collect photographs,” Regal explains.
“Similarly, we have also heard from people in the fashion industry who want to own a piece of their history,” says Regal. “This is why I am so honored to be the one presenting this collection, because the subjects are so diverse, and personal. Helmut Newton captured an exciting moment of profound change, when the world seemed to be opening up before us, and everything seemed so glamorous.”
“Naked With a Fur Coat” runs January 29 through March 2, Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays by appointment, at the NYDC.