SUMO was a titanic book in every respect: a 480-page
tribute to the 20th century's most influential, intriguing and
controversial photographer, it broke records for weight,
dimensions, and resale price.
Helmut Newton (1920-2004) always demonstrated a healthy
disdain for easy or predictable solutions. SUMO-a bold and
unprecedented publishing venture-was an irresistible project. The
idea of a spectacular compendium of images, a book with the
dimensions of a private exhibition, reproduced to exceptional page
size and to state-of-the-art origination and printing standards,
emerged from an open, exploratory dialogue between photographer and
With the physically commanding SUMO weighing in-boxed and
shrink-wrapped-at 35.4 kilos, Newton created a landmark
book that stood head and shoulders above anything
previously attempted, either in terms of conceptual extravagance or
Published in an edition of 10,000 signed and numbered copies, SUMO
sold out soon after publication and quickly multiplied its value.
This worldwide publishing sensation now features in numerous
important collections around the world, including New York''s
Museum of Modern Art. Legendary SUMO copy number one, autographed
by over 100 of the book''s featured celebrities, also broke the
record for the most expensive book published in the 20th
century, selling at auction in Berlin on April 6, 2000 for
620,000 German Marks - approximately $430,000.
Now, 10 years after the original publication,
SUMO is back in a more economical edition, but one with the
same DNA as its unique progenitor.
SUMO established new standards for the art monograph
genre, and secured a prominent place in photo-book
history. This new edition is the fulfillment of an
ambition conceived some years ago by Helmut Newton. He would surely
be pleased that, a decade on from its first publication, SUMO-now
in a format that allows for a more democratic distribution-will
reach the widest possible audience.
However, proud owners of the new edition won''t wrestle
with their copy of SUMO. It comes with a unique
stand for displaying the book at home: