Commencing his career in the 1950s as a self-taught photographer working primarily for the gay underground Zurich club and magazine Der Kreis, Karlheinz Weinberger (1921-2006) took candid shots of lovers, friends and strangers on the street with an overt erotic investment in his subjects. He soon developed a fixation with the working-class youth culture known as the "Halbstark" (or "half strong"). Its members demonstrated their anti-establishment stance with embellished outfits of denim and leather, in an exaggerated and homemade version of the popularized American bad-boy style of the time. In his stark, posed photographs of these young rebels, Weinberger focuses on individual figures, exploring both a personal erotic obsession and the cultural symbolism of blue jeans, whose scarcity in post war Switzerland implied not just a fashion statement but a badge of pride. This publication reproduces a rare portfolio of these works that Weinberger designed himself in the mid-1950s.
Hardback, 9 1/2 inches x 14 3/4 inches, 108 pages with 54 b&w images, Swiss Institute/Presentation House Gallery/Museum Gegenwartskunst/Bywater Bros 2012.