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.
I was feeling wrecked but I got myself out the door to see Das Flüff, because I knew I would be glad I did.
As always, frontwoman Dawn Lintern and her lineup of sexy Gen-X rockers burned the place down. Wendy, on bass, is a woman Dawn played with in their twenties, and they were back on stage together in the 21st Century, making post-punk electric filth!!
Former bandmate Misty joined in for a bit to spell Joe Sparkle, recovering from some time in hospital. I drew him with Das Flüff the first time I saw them so it was fun to draw him again 🙂
Seeing a woman my own age dominate the stage and growl and rage was good medicine this week. Das Flüff always sounds amazing and leaves it all out there. You can buy the new album “Anxiety Dreams” here, follow on Instas here and check out the upcoming London and Vietnam tours here. Thank you, Dawn, for being an inferno of sound and fury. I needed it.
Marijn was the narrator, reading a spooky fairy tale in a voice that filled the room like smoke.
I have drawn Marijn before at Dr. Sketchy’s and was pleased to be able to do so again. Having a narrator really added to the experience of the show! Marijn is an illustrator herself, and you can follow her on the Instas here or check out her website here.
I also drew some of the artists this time!
I wound up sitting right next to the organizer of Berlin Museum Crew, artistSamantha Stover, (her mane of 60s movie star hair was covering her face alas!) and several other young woman artists. That’s LucilleLehr with the two-colored hair! Plus my dear friend, artist and art teacher Giulia Caruso, was just a few seats away! That’s her with the fuschia streak and tattoos 🙂
The thing about this guy with the phone on the bus was…
He was really excited about the phone call he was trying to get his friend to listen in on, and his friend was extremely “whatever” about it. Also, I don’t think I conveyed it in the drawing, but the phone was the thinnest I’ve ever seen, an absolute wafer.
This young woman had very large shoes.
And patterned pants that were definitely skating the edge of being Hammer Pants.
I actually drew these two bears lovin on each other during the summer.
I saw them on the U7 at 4am, during CSD weekend. Christopher Street Day is the big Gay Pride weekend in Germany. They were headed home, like me, and the one with the Yankee hat was definitely German, but I guess the Yanks transcend nationality. The one with the curly hair had a Bear flag pendant, but I couldn’t figure out how to show it.
This is an example of a drawing I didn’t finish for a long time because I was frustrated with it; it’s not my best draftswomanship, coming at the end of a long night. And I am rarely pleased with my execution of horizontal compositions, which I why I rarely do them. However I loved these two and so I finally sucked it up and did my best to finish it. Not my best drawing, but two of my sweetest subjects!
Thank you, my Patreon Patrons, for making it possible for me to draw these Berlin people and share their stories. People are fucking beautiful, and it brings me the purest joy to tell you about them.
The Sisters collect charitable donations at the gates. I was immediately struck by Schwester Francine’s profile. I asked if I could draw her and her husband, who was keeping her company as she worked the gate. And she agreed and we had a nice chat!
Lots of folx had these t-shirts, which said things like “Spanker>” and “Spankee>” and lots more.
This very good-looking “Slut” was kind enough to let me draw him on my way to The Ballery. He was from Zurich, people come from all over for Folsom Europe. His companion’s shirt said “Daddy”. These were the tame shirts 🙂
I raced over to the stage when I heard it was time for the sash-holders’ photo shoot.
It is not a casual thing, not a beauty contest, to be a title-holder in the Leather Community. It requires learning community history, being of service, and being respected by your peers. Anyone who earns a sash has done the work to know what it means.
Next year I will do a sash-holder feature and sketch as many as I can!
Meanwhile, it is possible for me to make and share these drawings of Europe’s leather family because of the monthly financial support of my Patrons on Patreon.
And amazing multi-talented singer-domina–bondage artistKristina Marlen, who was there with her lovely mom. Ms. Marlen knocked the room out with a classic Berliner cabaret tune.
Her mom bought the drawing in the fundraiser auction, which delighted me!
It is my goal to always make myself available for LGBTQIA, sex-positive, kinky, and alternative community benefits if my spoons/health allow. In the Bay Area I did a ton of benefits and fundraisers, and I am slowly ramping up here!
I can do this work because of my wonderful Patrons on Patreon, who provide the monthly financial support that makes it possible for me to document queer life in Berlin!!
If you want an art donation for a benefit or want me to draw at an event, just let me know 🙂 I’m on Instagram here.
Fearless, generous, battle-scarred by AIDS but refusing to be defined by loss, and still freaky as hell and ready to party. At big leather events they come out in full force, in full regalia. And I get to draw them! During this year’s Folsom Europe, my highest priority was making it to The Ballery for a celebration of “My Gay Eye”, their special Tom of Finland show. (you can see my drawings from the opening here!)
I drew Laura Halding-Hoppenheit, above, right before Durk Dehner announced she had made a generous donation to the Tom of Finland Foundation, which preserves and protects erotic art.
I was so moved that Laura was wearing a red ribbon pin, in an era when few publicly remind us of the presence of HIV and AIDS.
She is known as Stuttgart’s Schwulen-Mutter (Gay Mother) and theJewel of Stuttgart, and was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit for her social work. She serves on the local council and owns King’s Club and the newly opened Tom’s Bar, a quieter bar for the elder queers, in Stuttgart. She has made her life’s work fighting AIDS, working for tolerance for gay and trans people and helping immigrant sex workers.
I got to draw Durk Dehner again, talking about his work as an Art Protector and his curatory collaboration with Rinaldo Hopf.
The show pairs with the Tom of Finland edition of Mein Schwules Augen, a compendium of gay erotic art Rinaldo Hopf has produced for many years. The pin on Durk’s tie says “Support Art!” These older gay men, they look good. They’re fit, virile. They preserve their youth by doing creative work they care deeply about, and by having sex with and choosing as partners much younger men, just as I do!
I also got to meet Henning Von Berg, the premier nude portrait photographer for the discerning private client. He has gorgeous work in the show. I will draw him next time, he is so tall he says people say, “I didn’t see you up there!”.
The beautiful boy with the long hair is Julian, visiting from Taiwan. He is one of the artists in the show.
I chatted with Diva Tomast, below, on my way home. She was relaxing outside legendary Berlin leather shop Butcherei Lindinger. She had been onstage MC’ing earlier and I had wanted to draw her but been drawn away by a photographer who wanted to capture my Bi Pride corset.
Folsom Europe is such a lovely event. So full of power, history and survival. And kissing and spanking!
The Leather community weathered a storm beyond imagining, a generation lost, and came out even stronger. I can’t wait to draw this leather celebration again next year!
I’m so grateful to my Patrons, whose monthly support via art funding platform Patreon makes my work happen. I couldn’t make documentary art of queer Berlin without them.
You can buy the special Tom of Finland edition of “My Gay Eye” here. You can donate to help the Tom of Finland Foundation preserve, protect and support the creation of erotic art here. And you can buy Tom of Finland vodkahere, a percentage of sales goes to the Foundation! I’m sure it is delicious for people who like alcohol 🙂
Gorjeoux has a sparkle ukulele and performed “Toxic”, which I think is a Britney Spears song? With her own pun-ny lyric enhancements. In the funny songs category, The Ukelele Bandit performed a really good song about Brexit, but I did not draw him.
However I drew hostess Rah Hell and her roomie Roberta singing a Grimes song!
and this lovely fellow who performed a virtuoso piece on the musical saw. There’s always some mystery at Uke Boogie, someone who shows up and does a spectacular turn on some instrument you’ve never heard of. It’s part of the Uke Boogie magic. I don’t know why he removed his shoes to play the saw, but he did.
And I drew co-host the Great And Famous Crayon Jones in his marvelous cape and his very shiny very tight outfit!Alert readers will recall Crayon from my “Loving The Alien” drawings last summer.
The evening ended with Crayon, a bit drunk, playing the piano and singing “Heroes”. To hear “Heroes” in Berlin, played by someone who loves it deeply, in a roomful of people you care about, after midnight in the early Fall – well. Life is full of magic.
You can catch Uke Boogie the second Thursday of every month at Lagari. You never, ever know what’ll happen.
And keep up with drummess and ukulelist Rah Hell on the twitters and Instas. Of course, thanks to my goooorgeous Patrons on Patreon for providing the monthly financial support that makes it possible for me to document queer life in Berlin!!