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THE SONG CAVE
Karlheinz Weinberger: Photographs
Together & Alone
Edited by Ben Estes. Introduction by Collier Schorr.
Unseen photos of rebels, outsiders, construction workers and more: celebrating the distinctive gay male gaze of Karlheinz Weinberger
This landmark entry in the lifework of Zürich photographer Karlheinz Weinberger gathers more than 200 never-before-published vintage photographic prints that were rediscovered in 2017. This unique collection pairs images of Weinberger’s most famous subjects, the “Halbstarke”—a loosely organized group of Swiss “rebels” in the late 1950s and early 1960s, carousing at local carnivals and on a camping trip—with a much more private side of Weinberger’s oeuvre: solo portraits of men from the late 1950s through the mid-1970s, whom he invited into his makeshift studio in the rooms of the apartment he shared with his mother.
The men in these portraits—construction workers, street vendors, bicycle messengers, outsiders—span a spectrum of fully clothed, arms-crossed poses to campy and flirtatious, fully nude and reclined, while others mimic art historical postures. All of these images, though, reveal a palpable tenderness between photographer and subject, offering an expansive, uncritical take on the male form in an era when being photographed was not the casual, ubiquitous record it is today. Though not a professional photographer (he worked as a warehouse stock manager), Weinberger captured his subjects with a distinctly gay male gaze, both carnal and artistic, and this collection is certain to earn his work a larger following and appreciation.
Born in 1921, Karlheinz Weinberger was a Swiss photographer whose work predominantly explored outsider cultures. Between 1943 and 1967 Weinberger published photos of male workers, sportsmen and bikers in the gay magazine Der Kreis under the pseudonym of “Jim.” In the late ‘50s and early ‘60s he concentrated on Swiss rock ’n’ roll youth, whom he photographed with both tenderness and a hint of irony. Weinberger placed little emphasis on exhibiting his work; his first comprehensive show took place only in 2000, six years before his death.
Featured image is reproduced from 'Karlheinz Weinberger: Photographs.'
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
As much as Together & Alone presents an overview of his portraits, the book also portrays Weinberger himself—from a contemporary perspective, and no longer as an outsider. Weinberger emerges as a forerunner for younger artists like Schorr, Walter Pfeiffer, Wolfgang Tillmans, or Paul Mpagi Sepuya—all of who, like Weinberger, explore youth, masculinity, and desire through photography.
Voyeuristic, yes, but profoundly artistic, too, these images are charged with an electric, erotic and enduring power.
Although Weinberger’s rebellious teens are his most famous work, they only account for about five per cent of his vast archive. Male nudes cast from his daily life working and living in Zürich comprise the bulk of his work – but no matter what Weinberger photographed, he was drawn to a working-class expression of masculinity. Selections from both bodies of work are brought together for the first time in the new book 'Karlheinz Weinberger: Photographs Together & Alone.'
Testament to an unwavering artistic vision beyond the mainstream... Unflinchingly erotic but always tender, his work denotes a sense of intimacy between photographer and photographed that few achieve.
STATUS: Out of stock
Temporarily out of stock pending additional inventory.
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/6/2021
Featured image is reproduced from Karlheinz Weinberger: Photographs, Together & Alone, the 2021 Pride Month Staff Pick published by The Song Cave. Collecting more than 200 never-before-published vintage photographs that were rediscovered in 2017, this volume includes pictures of Weinberger’s famous teenage Swiss “rebels” of the late 1950s and early 1960s, shot outside at carnivals and camp sites, alongside very direct but also strange nude male portraits from the late 1950s through the mid-1970s, which Weinberger somehow managed to make in a studio he’d set up in the apartment he shared with his mother. “Weinberger’s early images smell of hair lacquer and the later ones smell of whiskey and sweat,” Collier Schorr writes in her excellent introduction. “The latent adolescence of the closeted homosexual gives way to manhood. In a sense they—photographer and subjects—grew up together.” continue to blog
THE SONG CAVE
USD $29.95 | CAN $41.95 UK £ 22
Pub Date: 8/11/2020
Active | Out of stock
USD $65.00 | CAN $87
Pub Date: 9/26/2017
Active | In stock