When I first heard of the title “50 Shades of Grey”, I just thought it was another book about living in Berlin because of the omnipresent greyness of the weather here. Being a recent transplant to Berlin from sunny Los Angeles, hopefully you can relate to my assumption there. My mistake.

Well, you have to also admit that the story described in the pages of that book could very well have happend here in this city, because for whatever reason, Berlin does seem to attract more than its share of sexual adventurers – of all varieties.

This month Boner Magazine presents the work of Daniel Marin Medina, a recent newbie to Berlin from New York City. Daniel creates his sexually charged portraits in stark black and white using a ball point pen as his weapon of choice. This medium is notoriously unforgiving to the novice as the moment that the pen is put to the paper, the ink is permanent. Daniel recalled a statement from one of his art professors who said, “drawing with pencil is for pussies, if you want your drawings to mean something, draw your lines in ink.” This well meant but demeaning and misogynic moment stuck with him over the years, but as you can see in his artwork, he has mastered the technique. Another point of interest here is almost all of his figures are nude except for their white Nike socks which happen to be the artist’s personal favorite clothing item. Anyone else sense a sock fetish here?

Daniel’s drawings are a diary of experiences in his new home of Berlin, drawing his portraits as visual memories of his encounters and at times further enhances them with his very personal thoughts when he posts them to his Instagram like this example here:

“You once said my ridiculous romanticism had shipwrecked us. In a certain way, I think we’re all drowning, scraping at the walls for anything to help pull us up. Everything I do these days seems so utterly senseless. I wear all my favorite things hoping you’ll notice and take them off. I surrender, shouldn’t that be enough? If blissful suffering is all you can offer then ration my servings and starve me into submission.”

We know that looking for meaningful connections in any new location can be tough, but because Berlin is what it is, this city comes with its own unique set of challenges, very different than many other places and that can make it both trying and sometimes even exhausting. This is exactly what feeds the fire for Daniel’s art, resulting in images of sexy men posed in haunting semi-abstract scenarios, paired with dark and moody poetic verse. What else could you ask for? This is pure Berlin at its best. (bb)

You can keep up with Daniel’s adventures in Berlin on his Instagram here:
@danielmarinmedina

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