Peter Berlin was a self-created icon. With his trademark pageboy haircut and his skin-tight costumes that put every detail of his anatomy on display (designed and tailored by Berlin himself to accentuate his already naturally defined physique), he became a gay sex symbol and a walking work of art.
Cruising was his career, and with a background in photography, Berlin began taking thousands of erotic self-portraits in the parks, train stations and streets of Berlin, Rome, Paris, New York and San Francisco, where he settled in the early 1970s. As Berlin put it, “One day I looked at a camera and said, ‘I have found my dream lover.’”
Berlin’s ’70s and ’80s self-portrait photography graced the covers of gay magazines, defining a look and a reimagined masculinity in a changing gay male culture. Spotlighting Berlin’s significant body of work, Peter Berlin: Icon, Artist, Photosexual pays tribute to the man who revolutionized the landscape of gay male eroticism and became an international sensation. The book is designed by Omar Sosa, Creative Director of Apartamento magazine, and is edited by Michael Bullock, writer and publisher of BUTT, Pin-Up, Fantastic Man and Gentlewoman magazines. In addition to essays by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Jonathan David Katz, Ted Stansfield and Evan Moffitt, the book includes original quotes about Berlin by Jeremy O Harris, Kembra Pfahler, Andre Leon Talley, Armistead Maupin, John Waters, Arca, Silvia Prada, AA Bronson, Jack Pierson, Simon Foxton, Chris Moukarbel, Telfar Clemens, Paul Sepuya, Tim Blanks, Mariah Garnett and Rick Castro.
Artist, model and filmmaker Peter Berlin, nee Armin Hagen Freiherr von Hoyningen Huene (born 1942), created some of the most legendary erotic imagery of his day. What began as studies in self-portraiture and fashion design in the name of cruising, by the early 1970s had turned into a robust artistic practice that included the creation of two films―Nights in Black Leather (1973) and That Boy (1974)―and innumerable photographs, paintings and illustrations.
Exhibition in collaboration with Damiani
All images From Peter Berlin: Icon, Artist, Photosexual, published by Damiani