Photographs: Together & Alone by Karlheinz Weinberger
Edited by Ben Estes
Introduction by Collier Schorr
Photographs: Together & Alone presents a landmark entry in the lifework of Zürich photographer Karlheinz Weinberger (1921-2006), containing over 200 never-before-published vintage photographic prints that were re-discovered in 2017. Edited by Ben Estes, 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 sense of tenderness between photographer and subject, revealing an expansive and uncritical take on the male form in an era when being photographed wasn’t such a casual, ubiquitous record as 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.