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New York Screen: Peter Berlin

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He’s been photographed by Warhol and Mapplethorpe, airbrushed by Tom of Finland, and lampooned by Owen Wilson in Zoolander, yet self-made gay icon and porn star Peter Berlin is most famous for his obsessive documentation of his scantily clad self. As Jim Tushinski’s new documentary, That Man: Peter Berlin, reveals, Berlin not only starred in Nights in Black Leather, he also designed his own crotch-hugging clothing, and he’s photographed himself obsessively for most of his adult life. And he remains very . . . active. Now 63 and living in San Francisco, Berlin says he’s planning a fashion show at Duvet in New York (the club with beds, naturally) for the film’s opening on January 13, and mounting a photography show at the Leslie/Lohman Gallery beginning January 10. But that’s not all he’s been working on since the film wrapped. “What’s really exciting—and what you wouldn’t know from the documentary—is I have been making hundreds of videos of my sex life,” says Berlin. He plans to edit the footage—primarily of himself having sex while watching video of himself having sex—into some new work. “Cruising was my favorite pastime in the sixties, seventies, eighties, a few weeks ago,” he says. “The documentary focuses on the seventies, and I respect Mr. Tushinski’s vision, but I also respectfully feel that I’m timeless because I’m always ahead of my time.”


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