Back in summer of 2016, I wrote about a new photographer on the scene who has been working hard to make a name for himself. After a series of exhibitions and also a hardcover portfolio that was published of his work, he will be opening his first solo exhibition in Hamburg later this month.
ECHO PARK – a new group of original work by the Berlin artist Florian Hetz was created in this winter during his artist residency at the Tom of Finland Foundation house. Escaping the winter here for three months, he was invited to be their guest artist in Los Angeles. There, Hetz emersed himself in the life and sexuality of gay men in the Echo Park district and documented the locals doing what they do best.
I am personally excited and curious to see these photos as I used to live just down the street from the Tom of Finland House in nearby Silverlake before moving to Berlin. It will be interesting to compare Florian’s experiences in Los Angeles to those of my own there in LA-LA Land.
Florian Hetz photographed his Echo Park models in sessions that lasted several hours each. He took hundreds of photographs during those intimate meetings and the extract of those will now be on view in Germany for the first time at the Frappant Galerie in Hamburg. Hetz deconstructs, dissects and sexualizes the bodies of his models. He zooms in on body fragments and details such as muscles, hair, faces, and of course their bulging bootys and genitals which completely fill up his photo frames. A few close ups of flying dildos and palm trees round out this particular group of images to give it a geographical point of reference.
Overall, his work provides us with a profound view of a splintered community – a community that has been repeatedly fragmented by the negative forces of discrimination, violence, and HIV. These new images here portray the artist’s view of a community of gay men that do not let anyone take away their yearning for beauty, closeness, fun, and fight for the right for a self-determined and joyful life. (bb)
ECHO PARK – a solo exhibition by Florian Hetz
Zeiseweg 9, 22765 Hamburg Germany
Vernissage: Friday, May 18th 7pm
Artist Talk: Sunday, June 10th 4pm
Wanna find out more? Check our previous feature on Florian Hetz below!