“Walter Pfeiffer’s faces are naïve. Lewd, innocent and brutal, yearning, greedy and shy. These faces breathe desire, prescience and eloquence. As embodiments of an adolescent vision that possesses the irresistible power of pure seduction, they fix and hold viewers spellbound, regardless of standpoint. Pfeiffer’s photographs speak with the instinct of the moment. The essence of eros, as movement ceaselessly erupting from within and penetrating everything around it, could hardly be portrayed with more immediacy, more simplicity and, paradoxically, more immaterial imagery. There is nothing superficial about the artist’s choice of subject matter: the face. The pictures reproduced in this publication are the outcome of a prolonged and extensive project. The inescapable appeal of these young men, photographed between 1980 and 1986, lies in the characteristics that typify youth, from facial expression to haircut.” Patrick Frey, from the foreword to Das Auge, die Gedanken, unentwegt wandernd.
Das Auge, die Gedanken ... was Walter Pfeiffer’s second book. The monumental intensity and urgency of these adolescent faces form an early highlight in this artist’s oeuvre and prefigure the vast potential that was later brought to bear on work in the visual idioms of art, fashion and advertising, a potential that surfaced again in book form in 2001 in Welcome Aboard and was later to culminate in the 2007 publication of Cherchez la femme!