Alexander Horn, the german fetish legend much admired for his creative talents, and a much-loved character on the international partying scene, has died suddenly aged 47 — writes Tony Mitchell.
Since our original report on August 9, we have received clearer details about the sequence of events around his passing, from when his friends started to worry about him to the discovery of his body.
Accordingly, the first ten paragraphs of our original report have now been replaced with this new information below. At the end of the article we have also added details of the funeral arrangements.
Friends first became concerned when Alex failed to meet up with them as usual on Sunday evening. But when he also failed to answer calls or keep a regular video job appointment on Monday, they felt certain that something was badly wrong.
“He was always on time,” said the model who was due to shoot with him on Monday. “In three years of filming together, he was never late.
“I called his mobile phone. It rang but no answer. I started to get worried and called a close friend of his who lives in Bremen.”
His friends’ worst fears were confirmed when Alex was found dead in his apartment by his neighbour Daniel on Monday afternoon. Daniel immediately informed Alex’s best friend Bianca, one of his earliest model collaborators, and Bianca rushed to Alex’s apartment.
She said afterwards that Alex had looked “peaceful”. He was not known to have been ill, nor was it one of those unfortunate accidents that sometimes befall people in the BDSM world.
In fact, Alex appeared to have simply collapsed in his apartment and died, probably of heart failure.
Since he had visited his mother’s house for coffee earlier on Sunday, his friends guessed that he died at around 3pm on Sunday, an opinion apparently confirmed by the doctor who attended.
Miss Behave, another of Alex’s close friends from the model community, was out of the country on holiday when she heard the news.
She said she believed the manner of his death was “exactly how he would have wanted it. In an instant and he was gone”.
Expressions of shock, sadness and disbelief quickly began to fill up the comment space beneath the announcement that appeared on Alex’s personal Facebook profile on Monday evening.
In less than 24 hours, there were comments from more than 170 people including well-known industry figures from around the world and across the generations.
Models commenting included Amarantha LaBlanche, Bianca Beauchamp, Dutch Dame, Kari Berg, Kay Morgan, Kumi Monster, Psylocke and Susan Wayland.
Photographers Belgium Marc, Mark Bennett, Martin Perreault, Maxime Avet, Michiel Kivits, Phoebus Kalista and Richard Knightly also posted.
There were words too from fetish media moguls Peter Czernich, Erik von Gutenberg, Bert Wibo and Erasmus 3XL.
Also contributing: designers Brigitte More, Dawn Mostow, Jeroen van der Klis and Louva DeMask, plus DeMask founder Steve English.
It all added up to a touching indication of the community’s great fondness and admiration for the inimitable Alexander Horn.
Among the many good friends missing him already were famous Dutch dominatrix Madieanne and her partner, photographer Erik Paulsen.
Madieanne said: “I’ve known Alex since 1995 and we were friends all that time.
“We went to Kink in the Caribbean and had fun, as well as to EuroPerve, did shoots, slept in each other’s houses and had fun all over Amsterdam — he being in his penguin suit.”
Said Erik: “It was totally unexpected. I had a long talk with him on Wednesday night and all was well.
“I told him I really liked him skipping EuroPerve for his mom’s birthday. Good son.”
The couple had also promised Alex a ride to Steve English’s ‘Chateau Demask’ in France next year.
“But now,” Erik added, “I’d need some ashes if there’s a cremation, otherwise he’ll have to go in spirit.”
His mission statement continued: “The latex fetish must not be limited to cheap pornography on one hand or absurdly high gloss glamour photos on the other hand.
“My goal is to create photos that fall into their own category somewhere between all those others. Not too far removed from reality yet not crude and ugly.”
Discovering a passion for shiny clothing as a young adult, but being disappointed by the poor quality rubber garments and “cheap and ugly” fetish magazines he initially encountered, he eventually found decent latex on a trip to San Francisco in 1987.
He subsequently became a collector of quality creations from some of the best-known latex labels.
He launched his L.A.TEX website on AOL.com in 1995 “to make the kind of fetish website that I was looking for when surfing the net, but that I could never find“.
What he was looking for, he explained, was “a website that you could show to friends that are not into fetishism and they would still think it’s nice and maybe even understand why you (or I) liked latex-clothing”.
He was also determined that the site would not rip off fetishists in the way that he felt many contemporary fetish sites did. (This, he noted, was usually by forcing people to pay for access before they’d got an accurate idea of what they were paying for.)
So he made L.A.TEX free to access, and also determined to run it according to principles that were almost unheard of among fetish paysites at that time.
The concept was so successful that he was able to launch a second site, Latex News, in June 1999, and by that October, l-a-tex.com and latexnews.com had together reached 100,000 hits a day.
Alex branched out into video clips and gradually expanded the repertoire of his photography to include much more personal coverage of live events, where his affable nature, modesty and dry humour quickly made him a popular figure among the feterati.
He famously attended Kink in the Caribbean, and in recent years you’d be likely to encounter him at all the big German events like Fetish Evolution and the German Fetish Ball Weekend, as well as parties further afield including Torture Garden in London.
In 2012 he collaborated on a new party, A Taste of Taboo, in his home city of Bremen. Top of the bill was hardcore fetish music project Grausame Töchter (Cruel Daughters) fronted by striking-looking dominatrix and SM performer Aranea Peel.
Alex developed a close working relationship that saw him taking care of all Grausame Töchter’s visuals, and his video work became increasingly in demand at big fetish events.
However, unlike most lensmen who tend to stay firmly behind the camera at events, Alexander Horn also liked to enjoy his fetish side in more direct ways.
He could sometimes be seen at events leading around a totally enclosed female model on a collar and chain.
And at the last couple of big events both of us attended, he could be found wondering around in a latex catsuit, hood, slave chains and ballgag.
For that reason alone you could say he lived the (wet) dream more openly than most of his peers in the fetish media fraternity!
Alex’s funeral service will take place on Wednesday August 17 at 10am in the Tielitz funeral home, Friedhofstraße 19, 28213 Bremen. His friends and family have asked that, instead of sending flowers, people should make a donation to the Bremen Animal Shelter, as “Alex liked cats”.
Look out for a full-scale Alexander Horn retrospective on The Fetishistas later this year.
Updated August 11, 2016