Born: Greensburg, U.S., 1946
Bruce Weber was born in March 1946 in rural Greensburg, Pennsylvania. He attended Denison University in Ohio where he pursued teather before turning to film making in New York University. In the 1960s he was introduced through Diane Arbus to Lisette Model who he studied with at the New School for Social Research.
He participated in his first group show at the Floating Foundation of Photography in 1973 and had his first solo exhibition at Razor Gallery in New York in New York City a year later.
In the late 1970s Weber started working on advertising and commercial photography for Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. Since, his work has appeared in many publications including Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Elle, Life, Interview, and Rolling Stone Magazine and he was commissioned to work for Pirelli, Abercrombie & Fitch, Revlon and Gianni Versace.
In 1978 his agent and companion Nan Bush helped him secure a contract with Federated Department Stores to shoot its Bloomingdales mail catalog.
In the mid 1980s, Weber began collaborating with crooner Chris Isaak. In 1986, he photographed him for his second Album “Chris Isaak”, and again two years later for a fashion spread in Rolling Stone magazine.
His advertising work for Calvin Klein in the late 1980s and early 1990s helped him reach national recognition. One of his iconic photographs was taken for this campaign featuring Olympic Athlete Tom Hintnaus in white briefs.
He photographed Harry Connick Jr. for his album “Blue Light, Red Light” in 1991 and singer Jackson Browne for his album “I’m Alive” two years later.
Many of his shoots featured in Andy Warhol’s magazine Interview.
Soon after, he started working as a film maker, making short films of teenage boxers – “Broken Noses”, his pet dogs, and later a longer film entitled “Chop Suey”. He directed “Let’s Get Lost” a documentary feature film about jazz trumpeter Chet Baker.
Weber’s photographs are occasionally in color, however most are in black and white or toned shades. They are gathered in limited edition print books, including “A Horse is Not a Home” and “Bear Pond ».
Weber created the fashion label Weberbilt in 2003; his first line, “eat, swim, sex, sleep”, went on sale in boutiques in London and Miami Beach, Florida in 2004.
His photographs are kept in the permanent collection of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.
In the 1990s Weber directed music videos for the Pet Shop Boys singles “Being Boring”, “Se a Vida é” and in 2002 for the song “I Get Along”. Throughout his career, Weber has also directed seven short films, including “Beauty Brothers, Parts I-IV” (1987), “Backyard Movie” (1991), “Gentle Giants” (1994), “The Teddy Boys of the Edwardian Drape Society” (1995), “Wine and Cupcakes” (2007), “The Boy Artist” (2008), and “Liberty City is Like Paris to Me” (2009).
However, Weber faced serious sexual assault allegations. In December 2017, model Jason Boyce filed a lawsuit against Weber in New York State Supreme Court, accusing him of inappropriate touching and kissing during a casting session in 2014. The lawsuit also targets Jason Kanner of Soul Artist Management, who managed Boyce at the time of the alleged assault, and Little Bear Inc., the production company operated by Weber’s companion, Nan Bush. Another model, Mark Ricketson, came forward with similar claims and joined Boyce’s lawsuit against Weber.
Weber vehemently denied the allegations, stating to The New York Times that they were “untrue” and that he had never engaged in any inappropriate behavior with anyone. However, in January 2018, The New York Times published a detailed account of sexual assault allegations made by 15 male models against Weber.
In January 2019, Weber sought to dismiss the original lawsuit filed by Jason Boyce, providing evidence that the model had sent him suggestive photos and texts before and after the photo shoots. The judge refused to dismiss the case, and as of September 30, 2020, it remains ongoing.
Bruce Weber Biography