Pornography in Former East Germany


Considering that the GDR was a little bit known for a more liberal attitude towards nudity with all their nude beaches it comes off as a bit surprising that pornography was actually forbidden in former East Germany. Obviously this didn’t stop the people from shooting porn in their own homes and illegally distribute the material along with copies from porn magazines and photos smuggled in from the West amongst each other.

On the public front the GDR had an almost obsessive urge to portrait the healthy and fit bodies of the people of their country, especially their soldiers, in the newspapers and magazines, and did this quite often in a very revealing fashion. These type of photographs became a bit the common material for masturbation for the youth who otherwise had few sources for sexual content of any kind.

Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, iconic figure of the queer scene of Berlin in the time of the GDR and founder of the Gründerzeitenmuseum, was one of the few collectors of erotic and pornographic material that was distributed in the former East that made it to the museums and a part from her collection is currently on display in the “GDR” section of the Porn That Way exhibition at the Schwules Museum. We have some of the material for you after the jump. Enjoy and don’t miss the exhibtion that is still running until May 17, 2015.

Frank by Frank
on March 6th, 2015
in Photos

Boys Boys Boys with Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert

Boys Boys Boys with Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert

As a creative person the best thing you can do with your life is do the one thing you are most passionate about. In the case of young photographer Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert it’s obviously naked hot guys. Well, not exclusively to be fair, his contributions to our We Are Berlin photo exhibition showed a way more diverse view into his photographic world. But still, the naked hot guys are a recurring theme in his work and we would be the last people to complain about that as he’s doing that genre of photography really well. After the jump we present you his latest series of male portraits in various states of undress that he took here at the recent Berlin Fashion Week in the backstage of the show of the label Sopopular. Enjoy!

Frank by Frank
on February 3rd, 2015
in Fashion, Photos

Sounds of Black – Backstage with Augustin Teboul


photos: Olga Khristolyubova

For the German/French duo of Odély Teboul and Annelie Augustin, Berlin Fashion Week always meant more than sending models down a runway in their collections. The Woolmark Prize winners of 2014 are well known for their extravagant fashion performances. This year Augustin Teboul decided to photograph personalities that reflect their label, wearing their new Fall/Winter 2015/16 collection, which they displayed as a gallery exhibition in the gorgeous Kronprinzenpalais, along with a live show using two staircases as opposed to a runway. The photographs of various artists were taken in Berlin by Stefan Milev, and published in a magazine titled “Sounds of Black,” suitably representing their latest collection. This season, the pair drew inspiration from the personalities they photographed, captivated by the unification of their strength and fragility. They channeled this into their line while continuing to speak through the mystery of black garments, experimenting with materials, crafting knit sweaters with ornate embroidery, patchwork dresses with leather and pleats and wool coats with lacquer trim. Our photographer Olga went backstage to have a glance into the preparation process. Styled by Wella Professional their look could not have been more sophisticated. Enjoy the photographic impressions after the jump.

Skylar by Skylar
on January 28th, 2015
in Fashion, Photos

We Never Existed – A Photo Love Story in Berlin


I think especially in sad and confusing times as these we all need a little bit of love and hope. To give you some positive thoughts today I would like to show you this wonderfully romantic photo series by Ines Kotarac. She create a little love story of two people that actually never met. Taken with an analogue camera on various locations in Berlin including the Tempelhof field she blends these two individuals together as if their story actually really belongs together. Enjoy the photo series after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on January 9th, 2015
in Art, Photos, Stories

You’re Just Too Good to be True – Juergen Teller & Tal R

You're Just Too Good to be True - Cover

photo: Meike Männel

There’s a new exhibition in town, and this is one you don’t want to miss. Not only is this show curated and organized by Juergen Teller and TAL R, but it features the work of both of their students from the last couple of years. Juergen Teller is a German fine art and high fashion photographer leading the fashion-photography game right now, as the creative mind behind unforgettable ad campaigns for designers such as Helmut Lang, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs. Teller has been working with Marc Jacobs (likely his most recognized collaborator) for almost 20 years, and the photographer has since brought his raw and uncommissioned images to the public eye through magazines such as i-D, W Magazine, Dazed & Confused and “All the Vogues.” (Remember when his refusal to photograph Miley Cyrus made headlines?)

TAL R is a Copenhagen-based artist who works with an experimental variety of mediums. TAL R’s paintings initially struck me as pieces that one must truly immerse themselves in—seemingly lacking in aesthetic detail while concurrently speaking volumes of subcultural influence. Whereas in the past, the artist was known to apply oil paint to canvas, he now defines his work as a hot pot in which he throws in ‘all kinds of material.’ (Said materials range from animal glue mixed with pigments to pencils, chalk and wax crayons.) His pieces and style act as a fresco commentary on the seemingly mundane, ordinary life.

Together with the Contemporary Fine Arts gallery here in Berlin, the two artists and professors are set to co-host and organize an exhibition in which the works of their students will be on display. Teller will be showing works by his Nuremberg Academy class, while Tal R will be featuring a selection of his favourites from the entire period in which he has been lecturing, spanning 9 years. Considering the artists come from two different backgrounds, it will be exciting to see the considerable variation in the works presented. Click on to see some of the photographs, paintings, sculpture and mixed-media pieces that will be on display! On the night of the opening Juergen Teller himself asked the visitors to undress and get photographed naked (and quite a lot of them did so) . The pictures of the naked Berliners are on display until the end of the exhibition. More impressions after the jump.

Skylar by Skylar
on January 6th, 2015
in Art

In Between Berlin – Illustrations on photography

IN BETWEEN Berlin - Gabriele Benefico and Claudia DAlo

This winter seems to be quite undecided these days going back and forth between sunny and gloomy and rainy days while never really getting as cold as we are used to in January. Especially after the holidays the city seems to be in some kind of waiting position, and even today and Monday it doesn’t feel like the waiting is just over yet. It’s a little bit of a mysterious atmosphere in a way.

When I saw the artistic collaboration IN BETWEEN by illustrator Gabriele Benefico and photographer Claudia D’Alò it reminded me a lot of how these days are feeling in Berlin. Gabriele added his mystical illustrations into the gloomy photos of Claudia creating a vision of Berlin full of enchanting creatures and scenarios showing the world in between phantasy and reality. After the jump you can see all the works based in Berlin, and on their Facebook photo set there are also some images from other cities. Enjoy!

Frank by Frank
on January 5th, 2015
in Art

Dancing over Berlin – Fashion Shoot with the Staatballett Berlin


Ballet dancing is one of the finest expressions of European culture. It created the creative base for today’s contemporary dance all over the world, and it’s also an art form with the perfect balance between lightness and power. Watching a ballet dancer perform is one of the most visually compelling experiences, and I am so glad that we have one of the most talented ballet companies here in Berlin: Staatsballett Berlin.

Combining their unique beauty with the rough urbanity of Berlin’s architectural landscape, we had a unique vision: shooting a fashion story showcasing a dance rehearsal on the rooftops of Berlin. Bringing new attention to the city’s rich cultural heritage, fashion photographer Olga Khristolyubova portrayed two of the most skilled dancers from Staatsballet: Sarah Mestrovic and Kevin Pouzou. Sarah is a native Berliner who has been enrolled in the company for ten years. She combines her artistic experience with a creative spark, making her move with lightness and passion over the roof of our shoot. Kevin is a french dancer who has been living and dancing in Berlin for 8 years now. His majestic beauty is nothing compared to his bravery and strength. Neither were afraid to move and bend over the abyss of the streets surrounding them; creating incredible images for us.

Since we shot on the last weekend of November, the air was already cold as ice, though the sun was fortunately shining. On top of their rehearsal gear, they wore Goose Feel down jackets and knits from We are Knitters: the perfect combination of warmth to help the dancers extend over the top of Berlin’s skyline, while also staying super-light and incredibly flexible so as to allow them to bend, leap and soar unimpeded while performing their magic. Enjoy the whole shoot after the jump, and stay tuned for the animated pictures soon to come.

Claudio by Claudio
on December 16th, 2014
in Fashion, People, Photos, Theater

Beardicted – A Book about Extraordinary Beards

Beardicted by Alicia Kassebohm - Candy Frank

Those of you who were guests of our 7 Year Anniversary party back in September already had a chance to see the cute brand new book Beardicted by our guest contributor Alicia Kassebohm and also put on some of her sparkely beards in our barber shop photo box. Now the book is officially available for purchase and we have a huge preview for you with some of our favorite beards from the book and of course those of the iHeartBerlin team including Devid, Claudio and me. Enjoy the beard parade after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on December 4th, 2014
in Art, Books, Photos

Porn That Way – A Retrospective Exhibition of Gay Porn


photo: Fred  Bisonnes  ©

If you are reading this from your office computer right now I would advise you to look if anyone’s watching you before you scroll further down, because it’s gettin’ kinda hot down there. We’ve teased it already in our Sexy Berlin Guide and now we have a full super-sized preview of the upcoming big group exhibition at the Schwules Museum that is celebrating its grand opening night this weekend. Titled Porn That Way the exhibition is a comprehensive retrospective of the imagery of queer pornography starting somewhere in the late 19th century with blurry obscure photographs and ending in the year 2014 with the latest artsy photoshoots of modern-day porn stars. The recent Porn Film Festival already proved how closely pornography can be linked to the arts and I think this exhibition will bring it even one step further. For our preview we selected mostly harmless photographs as we wanted to give you an impression of the aesthetic of the works rather than making you horny. For the real deal – and believe me, some parts of the exhibition are full on – you will have to visit the Schwules Museum on Saturday evening. The exhibition will run until middle of May. Enjoy!

Frank by Frank
on December 2nd, 2014
in Art, Photos

Abstract Views of Berlin – Jan Herdlicka


One of the photographers of our recent WE ARE BERLIN exhibition has just announced the release of his new book which will come out on December 14th 2014 and we thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about it considering it would make an excellent Christmas gift for every Berlin lover. At our exhibition Jan Herdlicka contributed one work of his subway door series but his book is taking another, more abstract course. He combined all of his more melancholic black and white photos, contrastic scenes of nature with the harsh geometry of subway stations and sky rises. We’ve selected some of his works as a little preview for you to get an impression. With this series he is capturing different architectural landmarks of the city, but layering them on top of each other with other buildings and coulds by multiple exposure thus creating dramatic and sinister looking collages. Enjoy the photo series after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on December 2nd, 2014
in Art, Books, Photos