Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bob Mizer in Berlin - 2 days left!

Speaking of Bob Mizer -- the exhibit of color work by the man who was AMG is entering its final two days, closing this Saturday, March 19 at Exile Gallery in Berlin!

Here is the description of the show from the gallery brochure (sure wouldn't mind having a real one to go along with the .pdf, Den... wink wink!!)

After two years in our previous location, Exile Gallery had the
pleasure to announce its inaugural exhibition in our new space
at Köpenicker Str 39 HH, 10179 Berlin-Mitte with:

Bob Mizer: Selected Private Works 1942-1992
Feb 19 - Mar 19, 2011
Opening: Saturday, Feb 19, 7-10pm

Exile is excited to present Bob Mizer: Select Private Works
1942-1992, featuring a special selection of private photos by
American photographer and visual mastermind Bob Mizer,
exhibited now for the very first time. This show launches not
only Exile’s new location but also an ongoing collaboration
with the newly formed Bob Mizer Foundation. Consisting of 26
modern custom Cibachrome prints carefully produced in strictly
limited editions from never before seen vintage Kodachrome
film positives, the exhibition gives an initial insight into this
artist’s extensive personal work and creative process.

Bob Mizer (1922-1992) founded Athletic Model Guild in 1945
as well as the ground-breaking magazine Physique Pictorial in
1951. Vintage and modern prints from Mizer’s AMG studio are
cherished, collected, shared, traded, exhibited and published on
endless occasions. But this exhibition introduces a Bob Mizer
that has hardly been known and never before exhibited until

Over the course of his career he continuously pushed social,
political and aesthetic boundaries, and his life and art have
had a lasting influence on countless artists and filmmakers as
well as on visual culture as a whole. Based in Los Angeles, his
photography and filmmaking features a vast social spectrum
ranging from Hollywood actors and celebrities to homeless
hustlers and porn stars. His models included television and film
star Glenn Corbett, actor, Warhol-protégé and Calvin Kleinmodel
Joe Dallessandro, as well as bodybuilder, movie star and
recent Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger… among
many others.

Although he worked in both black & white and color, we
focus here exclusively on selected color examples. The work
is presented in three distinct groups that loosely follow a
biographical timeline to give an insight into the depth and
breadth of the artist’s research and artistic vision.

Bob Mizer: Select Private Works 1942-1992 begins with
documentary-based photographs from Venice Beach, CA from
the mid 1940s and a selection of outdoor portraits taken during
his first trip to Europe in 1951. During these years, Mizer created
his photographic identity as well as his entrepreneurial voice for
AMG and Physique Pictorial.

The exhibition continues by examining the artist’s particular use
of color. Mizer began experimenting with color photography as
early as the mid 1940s and continued to experiment throughout
his career. This took several forms, ranging from fashion-based
imagery to formal portraiture. Many of these photographs show
a subtle understanding and manipulation of color and lighting
effects - all imbued with a characteristic style and underlying

The exhibit culminates in a selection of works that illustrate
the ways in which Mizer constantly challenged his own
visual language. These works show how he developed and
appropriated many of today‘s known stereotypes of masculine
visual representation - and then further shows his incessant
obsession to push further and further into and beyond his own
stereotypes. These particular images are multi-layered fables of
embedded visual coding: an angry-looking Marine who has lost
his pants, a Jesus on a fabric-clad cross in a state of excitement,
and a fake Native-American standing proudly against airplane
jet trails in the LAX flight path.

Exile is excited to show a side of this unique artist’s work
and of our collective cultural history that has hitherto been
underrated and unexplored. His vast estate consists of about
one million negatives and transparencies, countless reels of
8 and 16 mm films, thousands of BetaMax videotapes, as well
as large amounts of personal paraphernalia. This exhibition
has been curated by Billy Miller and Christian Siekmeier, in
conjunction with Christopher Trout and Dennis Bell from the
Mizer Foundation.

For further information please contact the gallery.
Exile Gallery
Köpenicker Str 39, HH
D-10179 Berlin


The photos you see were taken from the opening night, courtesy of Den Bell, the modern-day owner of AMG. I've also pulled one of the photos from the gallery brochure that I rather liked -- Tony Rome & Ron Nichols from 1971.

Too bad about the timing -- I'm going to be in Berlin this September. Ah, well. If any readers of this blog have seen the exhibit, don't be shy -- write a comment and tell us what you thought of it!

1 comment:

Guggenheim said...

his is the same young man who was regarded as a deviate and tormented by the L.A. Police Dept for possessing and distributing "obscene" material. On one raid of his work place (his home) they confiscated hundreds of negatives and destroyed them. In truth, he was an authentic artist and pioneer in nude male photography, inspired by the beauty and charm of fit young men.