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Rebel Youthby Karlheinz Weinberger
This is a book of photos from the 1950s and '60s of Swiss juvenile delinquents sporting their interpretation of American culture. The large, handmade belt buckles featuring Elvis and Brando, the chain and rope-stitched fly denim jeans, fur vests, and DIY jewelry all transcend fashion and expose a style that's still being ripped-off today. Proof that fashion is for people with no style of their own who appropriate it from the so-called lower class. Criminal.
Synopses & Reviews
This first-of-its-kind collection presents photographer Karlheinz Weinbergers influential portraits of rebel youth of the sixties. While Karlheinz Weinberger is known as a pioneer of male erotic imagery, the Swiss amateur photographer also left an indelible mark on the fashion world with his decades-long documenting of vibrant rebel youth culture. These working-class teenagers created looks that fused iconic American pop culture imagery—biker jackets, denim jeans, bouffant hairdos, James Dean insouciance—with their own idiosyncratic sensibilities. From the late 1950s through the 60s, Weinberger captured the defiant glamour of these youths with a keen eye for their provocative handmade designs. Inspired by the rebel youths pop playfulness and fierce individuality, a legion of contemporary fashion-industry leaders have been profoundly influenced by the photographs collected in this stunning volume.
Book News Annotation:
This volume features the work of Swiss-born photographer Karlheinz Weinberger (1921-2006). Brief essays by film director John Waters and columnist for the New York Times Guy Trebay introduce the collection, setting the context for the photos as extraordinary depictions of wildly attired young Swiss men (mostly) known as Hal-Strong hoods, who "adopted the kind of gear worn by American bikers and rockers of the conservative late 1950s and early 1960s and subjected it to wild improvisations" (Trebay's words). Waters recounts his meeting with the photographer when he was 80, and his immediate rapport with the non-English speaking photographer who "gave his teenage subjects permission to be proud of their outlaw tribe, defiant in the face of Swiss good taste and sexy for all the right threatening, unearthly and oddly innocent reasons." A chronology, exhibition list, and bibliography complete the presentation. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Karlheinz Weinberger (1921–2006) was a self-taught photographer who achieved renown late in life for his groundbreaking photography. Weinberger’s work has been the subject of numerous group and solo exhibitions, receiving rave reviews in publications such as the New York Times, Artforum, The New Yorker, and New York Magazine.
John Waters is a filmmaker, writer, and visual artist. He has directed such beloved cult films as Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, and Female Trouble.
Guy Trebay writes for the New York Times style section, where he covers fashion and style. He has received numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize nomination. He has also written for the New Yorker, The Atlantic, Esquire, and the Village Voice.
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