Suzanne Forbes, an expat New Yorker in Berlin. Made possible by the generous support of her Patrons. https://www.patreon.com/SuzanneForbes. Former DC Penciller for Star Trek, former courtroom artist, painting portraits and teaching drawing.
This is one of those Berlin moments that kind of confused me.
It was a Saturday late fairly late, and this guy was eating a sandwich in a white Tyvek jumpsuit. Was he a homeless guy, with his possessions in his cart? His cart also contained folders of papers and cleaning products, maybe he works in the subway system?
I couldn’t tell. I snuck behind the elevator shaft and drew him through its glass walls. Then I finished it a month or two later with the new greyscale markers one of my beloved Friend-Muse-Patrons gave me for my 50th birthday!
I saw this woman last week on the U-Bahn. Everything about her took me back to the 80s.
It was an older train, she was in the classic straphanger bookworm brace position, she was reading an 80s thriller and wearing the same kind of puffer coat my mom wore in the 80s. Puffer coats came back in style a couple years ago, and I am glad because they are so fun to draw.
The horrific situation with the US makes me want to make transgressive art that shows love and faith. I don’t know if this will give comfort to anyone but me, but it makes me feel better to have made it. Thanks to the monthly support of my Patrons, I can make and distribute free and copyright free art. He can gut the NEA, but he can’t stop the people from supporting artists.
Usually I make my free drawings available with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial ShareAlike License (CC BY-NC-SA), so that people can use them freely but Urban Outfitters can’t profit off them. However, in this case, if Urban Outfitters wants to make t-shirts or phone cases with my fat, hairy, trans demon sheltering a spectrum of marginalized children, they are welcome to.
This drawing is in no way intended to be a critique of the official Satanic Temple Baphomet statue, created by Brooklyn sculptor Mark Porter after a drawing by 19th-century French occultist Eliphas Levi.
The official sculpture is a transgressive work of art that derives visceral power from the clever use of two children in a pose that echoes popular formatted iconography of the 1950s. No shade, just a variant, an homage I offer to the world!
The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will. Politically aware, Civic-minded Satanists and allies in The Satanic Temple have publicly opposed The Westboro Baptist Church, advocated on behalf of children in public school to abolish corporal punishment, applied for equal representation where religious monuments are placed on public property, provided religious exemption and legal protection against laws that unscientifically restrict women’s reproductive autonomy, exposed fraudulent harmful pseudo-scientific practitioners and claims in mental health care, and applied to hold clubs alongside other religious after school clubs in schools besieged by proselytizing organizations.
On Halloween she and Amanda and baby Ash and the whole delightful entourage of cool people came to our house. I made this drawing of Amanda in the kitchen. Daria drew the same moment!
Amanda and I had only met once before, almost a decade ago, so we had some sad quiet time in my bedroom talking about our mutual friend Conor. Amanda’s blog still sends a reader almost every day to my post about how Conor lost his battle with depression and addiction.
While we talked baby Ash, a sweet-tempered and happy baby, crawled around the coverlet and peered at the cats. He has soulful, deep-set eyes. I love him.
Then on the next day me and Daria got to go to the show and be backstage and draw and it was wonderful.
This is Whitney and Amanda practising “Paperback Writer” in the empty venue before the show. The show was at a legendary Berlin venue, Huxleys Neue Welt, and the acoustics were gorgeous. Their voices rose up pure and exquisite in the open space, and the piano was amazing.
When we came into the concert hall where Amanda was at the piano, she sang into the mike, “The artists have arrived!”. I would like to be introduced this way everywhere.
In the green room Ash was looked after by his nanny, who had been an on-point Eleven for Halloween, and old friends of Amanda’s who live in Berlin. His mother’s ear was always tuned to him, even as she got ready to perform.
Scotty the Blue Bunny, another Bay Area refugee now in Berlin, opened the show with his signature baton twirling. Amanda said she would like to be introduced this way everywhere she goes.
Amanda speaks fluent German, as you may or may not know, and fans were yelling “Your German is great!”
She spoke in German quite a bit and it went over gangbusters.
Here’s Amanda taking requests by writing them on her arm!
This is her traditional method of taking requests. The audience happily complied, yelling out song titles.
And Amanda playing the ukulele. I fucking love when Amanda plays the ukulele!
Here’s Daria’s. It was so great, and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to be there and make these drawings. You can support both me and Amanda continuing to make exactly the art that feels most authentic to us on Patreon!
Amanda Palmer playing ukulele in Berlin by Suzanne Forbes Nov 1 2016
I’ve known Dia for years, and made a very good drawing of them at the Edwardian Ball back in the Oughts.
Dia came to my Halloween party in this outfit, dressed as Desire, and I was like “Oh HELL yeah!”
I wanted to seize the opportunity to make a portrait while Dia was still in Berlin, before they headed off to New York for a new job doing important work protecting civil liberties.
I am as giddily pleased with this rock-solid powerhouse portrait as I’ve ever been with anything I’ve done. I think it’s a good indication for the New Year.
My work has always been deeply committed to queer and trans visibility, and I pledge to work as hard as I can on representation with love and respect in 2017.
If you’d like to help support my work, please visit my Patreon!
If you’d like to see more of my work representing diversity, queer love, trans visibility and body positivity, click over to my flickr. Some of the drawings are VERY explicit drawings of queer love and sex, so to see all 98 images in this album you’ll have to have your “adult” safeties off!