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.
Wow it took me forever to finish these drawings from one of the very last parties ever at Berlin institution The Bassy Cowboy Club.
Maybe because they are such complex scenes to do in mixed media, or maybe because it’s always sad when a beloved venue leaves the cultural landscape of your city. Above, Vicki and her consort, on the right. I could not believe how beautiful she was.
Above, Puck the Hare dancing.
Puck is a terrificphotographer and professional artist’s model who also makes cool costume art like the headdress she’s wearing. I first drew her at Kitkat, where I confused her rabbit ears for pony ears! I had a hard time drawing the transparent rain ponchos the guys in the band, Cloud Kinski, were wearing and I’m not sure I fully succeeded.
The darkroom/outer backstage area of Bassy Club was done up with real prison bars like a jail cell.
I imagine this clever conceit was more enjoyable for people who have not been to jail.
A Berlin institution is closing down, victim of gentrification.
The Bassy Club closes this weekend. This kind of thing happens everywhere, even in Berlin. Nothing is permanent in life except the cuteness of cats and the value of love. Still, it’s a heartbreaking loss of a ridiculously cool (though grubby) venue. It means events that have had a home there forever, like Chantal’s House of Shame, have to look elsewhere. (Chantal’s has moved to Suicide Circus as of May 3!)
And a newer event, Bordello Bizarre, was only on its third go last night, when I was invited to draw.
I had a great time at the previous Bordello Bizarre and I love the Limelight-in-1992-meets-Burning Man aesthetic of the party. This one was the last ever at Bassy, which closes its doors forever on Monday, April 30.
Going out with a bang, it was emceed by Scotty the Blue Bunny!
You can see him at the top, wisely wearing one of the more sheer of his many blue bunny bodysuits. There were cool performances, a great band, and a gyrating mass of really gorgeous young people dressed in glitter and faux fur. Bassy is (was) a club that is always hot as hell, winter or summer, like hot yoga; the dance floor was packed body-to-body, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. It sucks that places like Bassy Club are displaced by what will likely be a greenjuice cafe for tech people. But change comes, whether we like it or not.
I was just glad to be there, documenting the moment, drawing like hell in the dark and smoke and sweat.
Multi-disciplinary art geniusAnto Christ was wearing a new work of art, the second version of her “Anxiety Dress”. The little follicles are all entirely hand-crocheted, and she explained that when she feels anxious she can just finger them. I hung out by her and her husband in the front room for the last couple hours, catching a breeze from the street through the front door!
You can see my drawings from Chantal’s here and here, and the previous Bordello Bizarre here and here. More to come soon from last night!
Finally finished this drawing of dancers and smoochers!
These lovely boys were crowding the dance floor at Chantal’s House of Shame. It took me a long time to finish this one because at Bassy Club I always sit on a stool in the raised loge area and it makes my perspective of the dance floor a slight, tricky downshot. Eventually I figured out the foreshortening and how to fill the space. More drawings from this night here!
Bartender at the KitKat club.
This friendly young bartender reminded me of my boyfriend Richie Barton in the 80s. This is from the night Miss Natasha Enquist and I went to KitKat; more drawings here!
Five minute gesture drawings from ESDIPBerlin Friday night Life Drawings!
With excellent model Luciano. You can see more of these here.
Unique, spellbinding, confrontational: I got to draw international performance artist and tornado of woman Gaff-E last weekend!
I was invited to draw at Bordello Bizarre again, and this time I was well enough to do it. Thank the goddess, cause the performers were amazing subjects. I really pulled out the stops trying to capture the furious spirit of Gaff-E, who I had not seen perform before. She is a lioness onstage!
She was wearing a third eye on her forehead and her eye makeup was that of the alien Sh’iar Empress Lilandra.
She started out in a dress and shed layers of glittering Bowie bodysuits. These drawings reveal my roots in comics more than any I’ve done in years, because Gaff E really gives superhero vibes. Ya gotta see her incredible self-styled portraits – she works as a stylist as well as classically trained musician turned postpunk renegade and dj.
At one point she was howling at the adoring audience, “I exist!” in a combination of wonder and fury.
There is no better mantra for a woman artist in these terrible times. At the end, clad in nothing but her completely OTT hair and her growling, demanding, interrogative performance, she pulled out her tampon and flung it on the stage. I have seen many things, but never that classic riot grrl move, and I’m so glad I got to draw it. I feel like this drawing came partly from Gaff E onstage and partly from the images branded in my mind of Anthony McCall’s iconic photos of Carolee Schneemann performing “Interior Scroll”.
I feel so lucky to be here in Berlin, documenting all these women rocking the fuck out.
Thank you for having me at the Bordello Bizarre party, Joseph, and thank you for your warmth and friendliness backstage and your indelible performance, Gaff E! Check Gaff E’s music here. More Bordello Bizarre drawings coming soon!