“WANTED: Peter Berlin” | 10th September | NYC


image001An Exhibition of Self-portraits from the 1970s and Early ’80s

Born in Poland in 1942, Peter Berlin is a relative of the celebrated fashion photographer George Hoyningen-Huene (1900-1968). Raised in Germany, Berlin received post-secondary education as a photo-technician, and in his early 20s worked as a celebrity portraitist for German television. However, it was around this time that he curiously began designing and sewing his own skin-tight clothing which he would wear as he cruised the parks and train stations in Berlin, Rome, Paris, New York and San Francisco. After several long-term stays on the east coast of the United States, Peter Berlin eventually moved to San Francisco in 1969, and became a fixture on the steep streets with his signature look and perpetual posing. He soon began producing films and starred in the now iconic Nights in Black Leather (1973), co-directed by Richard Abel. Berlin then produced, directed, and starred in That Boy the following year, and made four shorter films through the mid to late 1970s, while publishing and selling his photographic self-portraits. Peter Berlin was the subject of several Robert Mapplethorpe photographs, three drawings by Tom of Finland, and at least one portrait by Andy Warhol, attesting to his worldwide celebrity.

In 2005 Jim Tushinski directed and co-produced That Man: Peter Berlin, which helped spawn a resurgence of interest in and appreciation for Berlin’s work. Berlin resides in San Francisco quietly today, where he is still frequently recognized on the sidewalks by his fans.

The exhibition is co-curated by Eric Smith and Mark Garrett.
On view through 10th October.

Artist’s Reception





The exhibition marks the United States debut of art rugs by Nan Goldin, Richard Phillips, Juergen Teller and Bernhard Willhelm, as well as a capsule collection dedicated to Tom of Finland. Art pillows complement the collection.

Exclusive goods by Henzel Studio, État Libre d’Orange, Finlayson, The Posters, Rufskin and Tom of Finland Pleasure Tools.



Even more pleasure

Tom of Finland: The Pleasure of Play
Through 13th September


We would like to extend our gratitude to Tom of Finland Foundation, especially, Durk Dehner and S.R. Sharp; John Morace; and Richard Hawkins and to all of the lenders to the exhibition.

Works from the Tom of Finland Foundation, Permanent Collection courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin.

Leading exhibition support provided by:
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, through its Curatorial Fellowship Program; The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, through its Mobius Fellowship Program; The Friends of Artists Space; The 40 Years Artists Space Program Fund; David Kordansky Gallery; and Galerie Buchholz

The Tom of Finland Exhibition Supporters Circle:
Philip Aarons & Shelley Fox Aarons, Shane Akeroyd, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Elmgreen & Dragset, Nicoletta Fiorucci (Fiorucci Art Trust, London), Greene Naftali, Robert Gober & Donald Moffett, Mark Grotjahn & Jennifer Guidi, Wade Guyton, Michaeljohn Horne, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Robert Longo, Bjarne Melgaard, John Morace & Tom Kennedy, Lari Pittman & Roy Dowell, Richard Prince, Jack Shear, Cindy Sherman, Brent Sikkema, Gordon VeneKlasen, Danh Vo, and Jordan Wolfson

Artists Space Exhibitions Program is supported by:
The Friends of Artists Space; Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation; Cowles Charitable Trust; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency

Media Sponsor: Interview

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Patrick Staff on Tom of Finland and “The Foundation” at IMA Brisbane


PATRICK STAFF, The Foundation, 2015. Installation view, Chisenhale Gallery, 2015. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Andy Keate.

The Foundation at Brisbane’s Institute of Modern Art (IMA) is the first solo exhibition in Australia of Patrick Staff, a British artist who considers ideas of discipline, dissent, labour, and the queer body through his varied, interdisciplinary, and often collaborative practice. Curated by IMA’s Executive Directors, Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh, The Foundation is a film installation that explores queer intergenerational relationships negotiated through historical materials.

Taking as his point of departure the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles, home to the archive of the erotic artist and gay icon and a community of people that care for it, Staff has combined documentary footage of the foundation with a series of choreographic sequences shot within a specially constructed to create a film that explores how a collection is formed, the communities that produce and are produced by a body of work, and ideas of intergenerational relationships and care.

To find out more about The Foundation, which is at IMA Brisbane from August 8 to October 10, 2015, Blouin Art Info got in touch with Patrick Staff and asked him a few questions.

I first visited the Tom of Finland Foundation in 2012, on a friend’s recommendation. I went there expecting a ‘typical’ archive (receptionist, appointment, white gloves, concrete building), but instead found it to be a community of people living and working together in a three-storey clapboard house. Spending time there, I learnt how the house had been bought and set up as an intentional community of gay leather men in the 1970s. They hosted Tom of Finland (Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen, 1920–91) in the latter part of his life spent in Los Angeles and in the 1980s formalised themselves to preserve his vast catalogue of homoerotic art, whilst endeavouring to ‘educate the public to the cultural merits of erotic art and in promoting healthier, more tolerant attitudes about sexuality’.

What struck me most about the Foundation was not knowing immediately who lived there, worked there, was volunteering or just hanging around. I quickly felt welcomed into that space – in parts, I was aware, because of my appearing male – sharing food and talking, looking through the archives, the domestic spaces, as well as the dungeon and ‘pleasure garden’. I was immediately sensitive in that house to thinking about the nature of intergenerational queer relationships; the relationship between gender, inheritance and cultural memory; and perhaps, most of all, of care: care for the individual’s body, for a body of work, for the literal bodies of a community. I wasn’t interested in making a work about that place, the people or Tom himself, but began to try to formulate something made with all of them. Over time, it became increasingly about understanding my own queer, transgender identity and about interrogating the body as a living political archive.