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Stefan Thiel — 100 BERLIN BASED MEN Kurt vor dem Spiegel, 2014, 70 x 100 cm, paper cut-out (image courtesy of Schwules Museum) Stefan Thiel — 100 BERLIN BASED MEN Kurt vor dem Spiegel, 2014, 70 x 100 cm, paper cut-out (image courtesy of Schwules Museum)

Artists

Sexy silhouettes in Schöneberg

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One of the highlights of a recent visit to Berlin was a visit to Schwules Museum in Schöneberg where we caught the exhibition of the work of Stefan Thiel.

The exhibition — 100 Berlin Based Men — showcases a series created by Thiel where he has used paper cut-outs to create sexed-up portraits in silhouette.

For this series — created between 2011–2015 — Thiel used a photograph as his base, and then cut his silhouettes from black paper.

The results are stunning.

Stefan Thiel — 100 BERLIN BASED MEN Denny-selfie, 2012, 100 x 70 cm, paper cut-out (image courtesy of Schwules Museum)
Stefan Thiel — 100 BERLIN BASED MEN Fred + Chris + Ant Chair, 2013, 80 x 60 cm, paper cut-out (image courtesy of Schwules Museum)
Stefan Thiel — 100 BERLIN BASED MEN Marduk mit Zigarre und Gürtel, 2013, 70 x 50 cm, paper cut-out (image courtesy of Schwules Museum)
Stefan Thiel — 100 BERLIN BASED MEN Matthias mit römischer Skulptur, 2012, 80 x 60 cm, paper cut-out (image courtesy of Schwules Museum)
Stefan Thiel — 100 BERLIN BASED MEN Oliver, 2011, 40 x 30 cm, paper cut-out (image courtesy of Schwules Museum)
Stefan Thiel — 100 BERLIN BASED MEN Xavier, 2014, 40 x 30 cm, paper cut-out (image courtesy of Schwules Museum)
Stefan Thiel — 100 BERLIN BASED MEN Rein Ant Chair, 2014, 80 x 60 cm, paper cut-out (image courtesy of Schwules Museum)

The exhibition of Stefan Thiel: 100 Berlin Based Men is showing at Schwules Museum until 25 June 2018

Schwules Museum, Berlin. Photo: Gareth Johnson

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Artists

The vanity of naked men

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Flavio and Omi. Photo by Paul Sixta (image supplied)
Flavio and Omi. Photo by Paul Sixta (image supplied)

I caught up with photographer Paul Sixta to talk about the challenge of photographing naked men.

When did you start to explore your passion for photography?

I started photographing and doing some videos when I was 12. I just loved fooling around with cameras. Photos were analogue and needed to be printed, which was kind of expensive at the time for a kid, so I didn’t do as much as I would have liked.

You’ve created a stunning series of work — photographing naked men. How have you sourced the subjects for this series?

I find most men online — Instagram, Grindr — it’s easier to approach people online so they can have a look at the work, see if it’s something they might be interested in, and feel more comfortable saying no if they’re not sure.

Cristian. Photo by Paul Sixta (image supplied)

Is this an ongoing series?

I’ll probably always be taking portraits of people. It’s probably a never-ending project. I’m always looking to meet and photograph new people.

What does this series of photographs tell us about men and their relationship with their bodies?

Women’s bodies are judged so much more harshly then men’s bodies, but men have their issues as well. Almost every man thinks their penis is too small, or they wish that they had an Instagram six-pack. It takes a moment when we start shooting to accept whatever you’ve got and try to let it be.

Even though I don’t Photoshop bodies or faces, my work isn’t that confronting. After the shoot, I talk with the person that I’ve photographed, to see what can be published and what can’t. That can sometimes be a struggle between a good photo and vanity. But I try not to push too much. It’s important someone feels good about what goes online.

I guess I’m a typical photographer who hates pictures of himself, so I understand that not everything needs to be shared with the rest of the world. Maybe that’s actually atypical these days.

Jacob and Ken. Photo by Paul Sixta (image supplied)

What are some of your goals and ambitions for the remainder of 2018?

I’m trying to set up a gallery show, and I’m looking into book publishing options.

Dive into the world of Paul Sixta

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Michiel. Photo by Paul Sixta (image supplied)
Alvaro. Photo by Paul Sixta (image supplied)

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