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When Geniuses Meet, Great Things Happen: Giugiaro and Newton

Italian Giugiaro is without doubt an ingenious designer. German Newton is undoubtedly a magnificent photographer. Both have previously been hailed right here on ViaRETRO – for their individual work. Only once did they work together and of course the result was brilliant.

Not only has Giugiaro been mentioned on ViaRETRO  before – he has been mentioned many times. And let me just repeat that he is truly a hugely talented designer. The broad scope of his work is enormous, and I cannot count the number of times he has re-thought and maybe even re-defined car design as a whole. His company Ital Design’s collaboration with VW began in the early 1970s and it of course gave the Germans the success most of the group is based on to this day: the VW Golf.

Newton is a bit – different. Maybe that’s why he has been mentioned less on ViaRETRO. Or maybe it’s because he is not a car guy as such. Fair enough. But he is undoubtedly as much of an aesthete as Giugiaro, and he sticks to his favourite subject at least as diligently as the car designer. And we all know what Newton’s favourite subject was, right? True, naked women.

Within that area, Newton was really fairly conservative but countered it by generally finding women that weren’t. He was quite brilliant at that, too. He has an immediately recognisable style which I would characterise as “absurdly abstract and borderline sensual”. He occasionally also photographed cars, though I haven’t yet seen any examples of this which didn’t include ladies as well – like the one below.

He explained his specific area of interests quite clearly, according to this quote:

Women and cars are objects of beauty, sex and speed, the three elements that I love best and which make life enjoyable.

Precisely what inspired Giugiaro to commission Newton to shoot ItalDesign’s year 2000 calendar, I don’t know. I can only say that it happened in the fall of 1999. And that it works! The genius is, among other things, the complete absence of the usual car clichés: The photography all took place at ItalDesign, and there was a lot of research into how and where the setting was to be created. The result is twelve photos that have the same peculiar sensuality as mentioned before: disturbing, peculiar, weird. I haven’t been able to bring up all the pictures, but the ones below are perfectly representative. And they are brilliant.


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