Local heroes: Rory Midhani

Cardboard puppet art that portrays Berlin’s sexually open queer clubbing scene so realistically you feel like you’re right in it? Discover how Rory manages to achieve that in our interview!

While there’s certainly a lot of artists dealing with sexuality, queerness, and hedonistic lifestyle in their works, and many of those focus on Berlin specifically too, Rory Midhani’s art undoubtedly stands out. Colorful, quirky, cute, sexy – his pieces are all of that at once. Regularly collaborating with events as CherrYO!kie or SchwuZ’s Plastic, there is a chance you might have seen his art around already, which is why we decided to interrogate Rory a bit.

If you happen to be in Berlin, make sure to pop in to the Instinct 7: Beautiful We art show!


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Hi Rory, how are you?
I’m good thank you, enjoying Berlin coming back to life with the springtime!

All of your art has a very specific, signature style. If you were to name three main influences on your aesthetics, what would they be?
There’s a number of visual artists who it’s perhaps obvious I really like the work of- artists like Grayson Perry, Keith Haring and Tom of Finland. Actually though the kinds of art I love to see the most is often not painting or drawing based. I love to see drag shows and performances, I like watching how people move in their bodies and I like to see people wearing creative costumes and make-up.

In terms of thematic influences I am very influenced by other queer & trans people, of moments of being a part of a thing and umm of being horny?!




You work a lot with cardboard puppets. What lead you to exploring this art form?
I started making lots of them while I was bored in bed recovering from top surgery a couple of years ago. I couldn’t move around much so I wanted to make something more posable than I was at the time. At first I was just making the figures by themselves, but then I started adding in backdrops and props and just found it was a really fun way way to put together a picture. I like that they can move, it means they have a lot of life and it’s more of a playful process than making static artworks.


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Your artworks decorate a lot of Berlin’s queer parties’ posters and flyers, and is also highly inspired by the local club scene – but where do you like to party in Berlin the most?
Ah I love the Berlin Queer clubbing scene so much. I’m a huge fan of Gegen at Kit Kat Club, and also of BOAR, which had another instalment just this Sunday. Generally what I like from a party is a nice Queer crowd being cute with each other. Whether it’s more of a dancey party or more of a sexy party what I like is people being sweet.

I feel like Berlin is more famed for it’s “edginess” than it’s softness, but actually if you go to the right places you will find that Berlin’s heart is very soft. <3


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Let’s do a few quick questions! Day or night? Coffee or tea? Book or movie? City or nature?

Night, coffee, movie, city

If other folks are as in love with your art as we are, where can they see it on display? Or perhaps even buy it?
At the moment you can catch some of my artworks at ‘Instinct 7: Beautiful We’ at Village, alongside a bunch of other really cool Berlin based queer artists. It runs until the 28.04.2019.

You can buy my originals there, and if it’s more smaller things like stickers, prints, postcards and magnets that you’re after you can get those from the shop on my website. You can use the code “KINKREADER19” for 10% discount!




We’re always looking for new artists to feature on Kink. Is there someone (from your community) you’d like to recommend?
Yes! I recommend the totally trippy, intergalactic and often erotic artworks of Daniele Nebula. Her digital portraits are super sick and I heard a rumour she’s working on a virtual reality porn, which will be out of this world!!


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Rory Midhani: Website, Instagram, Shop
Text: Anna Wim

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