Cameras are anathema for Berlin club bouncers, but Felix Scheinberger has a workaround. He attends parties with a sketchpad, pen, water-filled paintbrush and pocket-sized palette. The esteemed illustrator and art professor (he teaches at the Münster University of Applied Sciences) has been capturing Berlin’s exuberant night scene with his watercolour and ink sketches for over 10 years, resulting in a previous book, Hedo Berlin.
His latest work, Kinder der Nacht (coming out this month), is another tribute to the nightlife we all miss so dearly – this time looming wider in scope and colour. From Berlin to New York, from the French Riviera to Mexico and Rio, Scheinberger delivers a dazzling gallery of portraits captured in the flesh. His former days as a drummer in punk bands could explain why he’s so comfortable with uninhibited creatures of the night, as seen at Berlin’s own KitKat, which the artist has come to see as his “big living room”.
In Scheinberger’s latest collection, you’ll find Lina the pink-nippled nurse, Josi the fetish cat woman, harnessed and masked couples, taped tits, bleeding knees, tattooed pussies… and don’t miss Exberliner’s April cover star, Medusa, with her Schiele-esque beauty and grandiose, heart-shaped bleeding arse: “She kneeled and exposed her behind towards me saying, ‘Can we make it really pornographic?’” Scheinberger explains. “I told her I’m not so much into drawing pussies; I’d rather draw faces, so we switched the angle,” he laughs. The result reveals Scheinberger’s unique talent at depicting kink without sleaze – with flamboyant lines reminiscent of Egon Schiele and a George Grosz-like knack for caricaturing the underworld of his fellow hedonists.
Kinder der Nacht by Felix Scheinberger, EMF Verlag, €30 on Hugendubel.de