Of course, Bridge Markland is far more than a Drag King.
Bridge, who I have drawnmanytimes, is a performer in the classic tradition, a clown and puppeteer and artist’s model and archivist of Queer Berlin culture. She is an actor who can bring the ghosts of Weimar to life when inhabited by the spirit of Anita Berber, and a dancer who can grind it industrial. Sascha, above, is one of her classic characters!
And Bridge is a welcoming signpost to the young gender performers of Berlin.
She has a wonderful relationship with the Venus Boys and several joined her onstage.
Bleach, above, did a delicate transform into an ivory slip dress and loose blonde curls. I tried to capture the way their feminine beauty was visible even before the masculine drag was removed.
I am always excited to draw the amazingVenus Boys, “a collective of Berlin based Drag performers who paint from the palette of performative masculinity”.
Here’s a post about Bridge and Buba Sababa performing together last year.
Bridge Markland, throwing away gender norms since 1995!
You love to see it. Bridge has a legendary tongue, this drawing does not exaggerate it!
It was a joy to document this show.
I am so grateful to my Patreon Patrons, whose monthly financial support lets me keep documenting Berlin’s drag and burlesque performers while I work safely at home.
I’ve been following Laurence on Instagram and delighting in their Non-Binary Portrait Series. These luminous works are alive with compassion and love. With Laurence’ permission, one of the works is reproduced below. It doesn’t compare to seeing them in a bright gallery, printed large, though! They are so fucking exhilarating.
Each work was exhibited with the model’s name and their pronouns of choice. You can see the bts video here! The show was at coGalleries on Torstr., in our old neighborhood. I bought a piece and also snapped up a zine from Kink.cz. Which Laurence signed!
Thanks so much for letting me draw you on your first trip to Berlin, Laurence!
Portrait by Laurence Philomene from the Non-Binary Portraits Series, 2017 Copyright the artist, all rights reserved.
Broadly has a nice interview with Laurence here, and there’s a story on CBC Arts here. You can buy prints here on Society6 and here on Post Collective.
If you are interested in gender study, trans pride, portraiture, or color photography, Laurence Philomene is seriously someone to watch. Thank you Laetitia and Suzanne for curating their work in Berlin!