EYE CANDY

Walter Pfeiffer Finally Reveals the Art That Became His Seminal Photographs


Before he was known as a photographer, Walter Pfeiffer took pictures so he could paint from them. As it turned out, the Swiss artist had generational talent with a camera, going on to become hugely influential in photography and fashion image-making, his gritty naturalism preceding the likes of Juergen Teller and Ryan McGinley. But Pfeiffer, who began his career as a commercial draftsman, never stopped drawing and painting, and he has at last released Bildrausch. Drawings 1966 – 2018, a collection of his art over his career published by Edition Patrick Frey. The subjects are familiar to those familiar with Pfeiffer’s seminal work: erotic portraits of young men, flowers, the Swiss landscape, only seen through a different medium. The collection at once illuminates Pfeiffer’s career as a photographer—for which he was just honored in a special tribute last Thursday at the Swiss Institute‘s annual benefit in New York—and feels like a completely new one, to be continued hopefully.

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1984, LP cover as per original drawing. Walter Pfeiffer. Courtesy of Edition Patrick Frey.

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1991, ink on paper. Walter Pfeiffer. Courtesy of Edition Patrick Frey.

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1984, gouache on paper. Walter Pfeiffer. Courtesy of Edition Patrick Frey.

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Walter Pfeiffer. Courtesy of Edition Patrick Frey.

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1985, pencil on paper. Walter Pfeiffer. Courtesy of Edition Patrick Frey.

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1986, gouache on paper. Walter Pfeiffer. Courtesy of Edition Patrick Frey.

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Left: 1984, gouache on paper. Right: 1984, private photograph. Walter Pfeiffer. Courtesy of Edition Patrick Frey.

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1983, gouache on paper. 1986, wax crayon on paper. Walter Pfeiffer. Courtesy of Edition Patrick Frey.

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1987, wax crayon on paper. Walter Pfeiffer. Courtesy of Edition Patrick Frey.

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Walter Pfeiffer. Courtesy of Edition Patrick Frey.

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Walter Pfeiffer. Courtesy of Edition Patrick Frey.

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Walter Pfeiffer. Courtesy of Edition Patrick Frey.