(Images © The estate of Karlheinz Weinberger)
For decades the work of Swiss photographer Karlheinz Weinberger was shrouded in obscurity. In the 1950s he published numerous homoerotic photographs under the pseudonym “Jim” in Der Kreis (The Circle), the legendary international gay magazine that featured highly sophisticated photographs by, among others, George Platt Lynes and Herbert List. Weinberger was one of the first queer photographers to show his often working-class models posing in their everyday surroundings. For Weinberger, eroticism was always grounded in the quotidian-a revolutionary and courageous approach back in the 1950s.In the late 1950’s Weinberger started to develop an obsessive interest in the nascent biker culture and its proud and self-confident celebration of the body, embarking on a longtime study of their lifestyle. In many ways, Weinberger’s photographs will remind viewers of Kenneth Anger’s cult classic Scorpio Rising. Weinberger’s photographs are a unique document both of pre-Stonewall gay culture and postwar youth culture and its cycles. His erotic and provocative photographs are imbued with a mischievous sense of humor that makes them as vibrant and vital today as they were when they were first taken.