As some of you already know we are right in the middle of our new group exhibition Fantastic Playground Berlin that you can still visit until Saturday at the Marcell von Berlin Flagship Store on Friedrichstraße 172. We have been planning this show for a long time now and we still can’t believe that it finally materialized, and it looks so much more amazing than we ever could have wished for.
This exhibition is really special to us because for the first time we had a theme that allowed us to create something like a retrospective of our work for iHeartBerlin for the past 15 years. Berlin is a playground of ideas – this has always been an important theme for us as we featured all these wonderful and inspiring projects from different creative scenes that make up Berlin. It’s so diverse and fun and colorful. To us, it’s the essence of Berlin and why this city is so special. It feels like everyone can find their space on this wild playground.
You just know, when Joseph’s in the room. The soon-to-be 28-year-old’s personality is as immersive as his imagery. The Berlin Wunderkind has left his mark on the big city – now, after almost a decade, he’s ready to leave her behind…
His cheeky charm and exceptional talent led Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert into the forefront of a new generation of Berlin creatives. The last eight years have seen him working as a portrait photographer for established publications such as Intro, Siegessaeule and Gay Times capturing the rare place where beauty, intimacy, and refined aesthetic meet like no other. His first, much-acclaimed photobook ‘Gender as a Spectrum’ – a collaboration with Kaey – was released in 2016, and hit the bull’s eye of a zeitgeist of sexual liberation and social acceptance for LGBTQIA+ people. At the time, Joseph was studying at the renowned University of the Arts Berlin, after already graduating from Ostkreuz School for Photography, and, on top, he opened up his own gallery ‘P7’ in 2017.
photos: Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert
Continuing my story about our campaign for the Ehe für Alle organization together with SKYY Vodka I would like to present you today with the results of a photo shoot and interview we did with some of my dear colleagues from the world of blogs and Instagram. We designed a T-shirt that is calling for support from our straight friends and family members in our fight for marriage equality and other causes important to the LGBTQ community. We gave these shirts to a group of fellow bloggers and Instagrammers so they can spread our message to their fans and followers. We asked Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert to take some photos of them with the shirts. He’s one of our favorite Berlin photographers who we have featured multiple times here on iHeart over the years with his amazing analog portraits and who has empowered the LGBTQI community with his book Gender is a Spectrum. Today we want to share with you the beautiful results of our shoot.
We also asked all of them what their position is on the campaign, on the involvement of a brand like SKYY Vodka and what they think the next big steps should be now that marriage equality has been introduced. Their answers were so strong and beautiful that we want to share them with you as well. Thanks to everyone who participated, especially to the Ehe für Alle initiative and all the organizations that are part of it who fought hard for marriage equality to become a reality in Germany.
photos: Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert
Gender, identity and self-expression are very delicate, intimate subjects to address.
The true kaleidoscope of human identities, facets and preferences is as diverse as there are people on this planet. Beyond a world of black and white, there is a whole range of color, which makes life interesting. Yet we all want the same thing: recognition for who we are and what we feel.
And to get said recognition, visibility is crucial.
“Gender concerns anybody and is part of every identity,” says Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert, author of the new book ‘Gender as a Spectrum’.
The photographer teamed up with entertainer, artist and Transgender activist Kaey, and portrayed people from Berlin and various places on the planet. All of them are a facet of the kaleidoscope, moving between the polarity of gender. For over two years Ohlert worked on this book with Kaey, capturing people in an authentic, emotional way that is both raw and rare. While Ohlert took the photographs, Kaey interviewed the portrayed people, so the reader gets to know the personalities behind the picture even better, learning about their personal self-concepts, self-definitions, views and wishes.
And maybe the reader starts asking himself these questions, finding answers about himself, or maybe just learning about the people that are all with him on the kaleidoscope of being a person.
Certain characters of the Berlin nightlife are too unique to not be featured in all their shapes and colors here on I HEART BERLIN over and over again. Amazing show-stoppers who are able to walk the walk and easily put any wannabe Topmodel contestant to shame! We are talking about the talented drag queen scene in town pulling off one nice costume party after another.
One of the driving forces of the drag scene in Berlin right now is Pansy who hosts the Drag Race screenings at Südblock, the queer RnB party Sissy, the queer music festival Yo! Sissy and the drag show/party series “Pansy Presents”. Her events are not only an occasion for a fun get-together, but of course also for the local drag queens to show off their talent. The next one is a David Bowie Tribute at SO36 on January 31, 2016.
Berlin-based photographer Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert took some great photos for us at one of the previous “Pansy presents” parties showing some drag queens gone wild. Enjoy them after the jump.
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!
Fashion in Berlin comes and goes. One day you dress unconventionally chic, the next day you have to get your gym outfit ready for a party because sportswear became the new avant-garde and today we are constantly underdressed (people call it Normcore, but I think it’s just a new way of being lazy).
But for some characters of the Berlin nightlife underdressing ist not an option. Because their style is not only a fashion statement but more a moral attitude. Drag Queens are always sitting in the front row because of their privilege of diversity. With their elegant and daring extravaganza they are questioning mainstream society and protesting conservative gender stereotypes. Fair enough, they were always a role model in the LGBT community and should always be treated with respect and devotion. As I mentioned before here, being a proud and sparkling butterfly not only makes the Earth a little bit brighter and more colorful, but also reassures us hat we have to dare to be ourselves, however strange and bold that self may prove to be.
For this pride week we wanted to celebrate the beauty and talent of the Grand Dames of the local Drag Queen scene. For that our skilled photographer Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert visited the Dragrace party where each screening of the latest episode of Ru Paul’s Dragrace was followed by hilarious and spectacular stage performances by drag queen PANSY and her favorite girls. Enjoy the photos of this incredible Birds of Paradise after the jump.