Helmut Newton at home in Monte Carlo, 1976 | Source: The Lyons Gallery

The Art of Helmut Newton and its Pursuit to Growth

Dubbed the ‘King of Kink’, Helmut Newton (1920-2004) was a prolific fashion photographer, recognised as one of the most prominent photographers ever to hold a camera. 

Over the past decade, appreciation of his oeuvre has reached high peaks amongst collectors and art experts alike, but it is in recent years that prices have dramatically skyrocketed.

Newton’s Big Nude III, Henrietta, Paris 1981 recently sold for a ground-breaking A$2.3 million at an auction, shattering the estimated price of A$800,000. 

The woman pictured is Henrietta Allias Purcell, a Cherokee and French model. She appeared in various Newton works from 1980 until 1981 throughout his Big Nude series.

This graph shows the steady increase of Helmut Newton’s average price per lot throughout the years. The price distribution shows that most of the artworks are sold between US$10,000 and US$25,000 | Source: Fine Art Global

His works are captivating and enchanting and were often considered contentious. But Helmut Newton’s reputation as a blue-chip artist has translated into the strong demand for his works today. 

Sydney-based Lyons Gallery is a distributor and retailer of fine art that specialises in limited edition artworks by the most prestigious artists and collected photographers in the world. 

Alongside its prestigious collection, The Lyons Gallery houses the incredibly rare, signed version of the Helmut Newton piece.

Alongside this one-of-a-kind print, The Lyons Gallery retains some of the rarest and most recognised Helmut Newton signed versions, offering a chance to obtain an asset investment like no other. 

Sie Kommen Dressed, 1981

SIE KOMMEN DRESSED, 1981, Silver gelatin print. Hand-signed and dated on the recto. Estate-stamped and dated on the verso. Lyons Gallery COA Available

Elsa Peretti in Halston Bunny Costume II, New York, 1975

Elsa Peretti in Halston Bunny Costume II, New York, 1975 Silver gelatin print. Lyons Gallery COA Available, Hand-signed and dated on the recto.

The Saddle I, 1976

THE SADDLE I, 1976, Silver gelatin print. Lyons Gallery COA Available. Signed “Helmut” in black marker

In 2021, the Global Art Market increased by 29 per cent, with a total estimated value of US$65.1 billion.

Alongside blue-chip stocks and ‘safe-haven,’ assets such as gold and real estate, art has transformed into a worthy – and tasteful – investment for those in the know. 

With Australian tax time around the corner, there’s arguably never been a more lucrative time to enter the art investing fore. 

Often incorrectly perceived as more of a tricky market to enter over the years, art has since firmly asserted itself as a burgeoning asset and is shifting the notion that making money in this space is not solely reserved for those that find a long-lost Rembrandt portrait in their attic. 

Art is one of the few investments that allows an investor to consider more than just balance sheets and cash flows, but rather how it might liven up a living or business space, with the potential to appreciate over time simply by hanging on a wall. 

While there are multiple ways to gain exposure to this market, acquiring a piece that speaks to an investor from both a financial and emotional perspective is a good start to getting to grips with this market.

What’s more, business owners can take advantage of a 100 per cent tax deduction on the purchase of artworks for their businesses – a noteworthy incentive with EOFY fast approaching. 

Under this scheme, small businesses with a turnover of less than A$10 million can claim this deduction allowance of up to A$30,000 per item. This limit is the maximum for a single purchase but businesses can elect to make as many purchases up to that amount as they like.

Art investment executive for the Lyons Gallery, Jaime Silva, says investment in art returns a high rate of satisfaction because of its tangible aspect. 

Art is on your walls, you walk past it, and wake up to it in your bedroom. You can feel it, sense it, it gives you emotion. You can’t see crypto or stocks but with artwork you live it every day, you breathe it. It becomes a part of you.

Jaime said.

There’s a broad range of factors driving art investment growth, one of them being the pandemic. As people were forced inside their homes, art represented escapism and this was reflected in not only rates of demand, but the demographic of investors. 

We’re seeing a change in demographics and we’re seeing a growth in young investors. No longer is it only the professional elites, it’s now an array of unique age brackets and occupations. If you’re able to connect with an emerging artist, it’s affordable and it’s no longer out of reach.

Jaime said.

In today’s economy, art represents a safe and lucrative investment. In 2018, total sales reached A$67.4 billion and the global art economy grew for the second year by 6 per cent. When taking into consideration these historical trends, it becomes reasonable to assume the value of art will continue to rise. 

Hand-signed authentic prints of these iconic photographs can be purchased via Lyons Gallery.

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