Karl Heinz Weinberger was born in 1921 in Zurich. He learned photography by himself. After the Second World War, he worked temporarily as a furniture and carpet salesman. From 1955 until his retirement in 1986 he worked at the Siemens-Albis warehouse in Zurich.
In 1948 Weinberger started taking pictures for the gay magazine Der Kreis (The Circle), and he used the pseudonym "Jim" to guard his privacy. With more than 80 published photos, he shaped the gay aesthetic of the Kreis magazine up until it ceased publication in 1967.
Starting in 1958 Weinberger sought out models who were tattooed rockers. He was also the first person to be allowed to photograph the local Hells Angels. Between 1964 and 1976, Weinberger was worked as a freelancer for various sports magazines and specialized in sports reporting. In 1968 he won a photography competition.
Weinberger participated in several group exhibitions in Zurich, Italy, Israel, Canada and the USA. His first solo exhibition was held at the Klubschule Migros, Zurich in 1980. His first big exhibition was held in 2000 in the Zurich Design Museum, where his homoerotic photographs were seen by a wider audience for the first time. The exhibition was credited to his real name instead of the pseudonym.
Weinberger's estate/papers are being held at the Schweizerischen Sozialarchiv ('Swiss Social Archive')
Books by/about Karlheinz Weinberger Edit
- 1999 - Karlheinz Weinberger: Photos, 1954–1995
- 1999 - Der Kreis: Mitglieder, Künstler, Autoren
- 2002 - Tino: König des Untergrunds - Die wilden Jahre der Halbstarken und Rocker - the biography of Tino (Martin Schippert) (text by Willi Wottreng, photos by Weinberger)
- 2007 - Karlheinz Weinberger (1921–2006) (book)
A short German biography with photographs