Aug 18, 2022 - Sale 2613

Sale 2613 - Lot 172

Price Realized: $ 3,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 2,000

PETER BERLIN (1942 - )

Silver print with pencil embellishments, the image measuring 241x200 mm; 9 1/2x7 5/8 inches, the sheet slightly larger, with Berlin's signature in pencil on recto. Circa 1970s.

Additional Details

Berlin (born Armin Hagen Baron Freiherr von Hoyningen-Huene), trained as a photo-technician and worked as a photographer in his native Germany. He began designing and constructing his own clothing, some of the ensembles skin tight, which he wore cruising the streets in Berlin, where he lived, and then San Francisco, where he moved in the early 1970s and became Peter Berlin, his exhibitionist, ultra-sexual alter-ego. Berlin photographed his ensembles in erotic poses, and in addition to becoming a fixture on the streets, created a demand for his photographs as a mail-order business. With the increase in production, sometimes he would inadvertently underexpose some frames of film. Not wanting to waste any of the prints, Berlin began taking a brush with acrylic and oil paint or just a pencil to enhance the images.

Berlin made a hard-core porn film with his friend Richard Abel titled Nights in Black Leather (1973), which became a cult hit, and led to other film projects, some of which were available as loops by mail order. He was photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe, silkscreened by Andy Warhol, and drawn by Tom of Finland. Radical, unusual, and dedicated to his life as Berlin from the early 70s until the late 80s, Berlin left an indelible mark. He gave a world starved of blatantly gay visual role models a new conception of the beautiful, empowered, self-loving, sensual, shameless gay man.