Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Your Wednesday Inanity: A Naked Man
The drawing to the left was done during a life drawing class I took when I lived in Glendale. Two years ago this month. The course took place over five or six weeks, with a different model present each session for us to draw. The whole nudity thing was totally new to me and was weird at first, but after ten minutes or so, it stopped being so weird. And it often wasn't pretty either. Five of the six models were chosen, I'm guessing, for their unusual-ness rather than their physical beauty (which was not what I was expecting for some reason; probably I'd seen too many sitcom episodes where one of the characters falls for some hot chick (or hot guy) who turns out to also work as a nude model in art class -- I guess I got to thinking all nude models were good-looking), so the classes never threatened to be titillating. But drawing these people, I wondered what sort of person, especially those in their fifties and sixties, thinks, "I know! I'll be a nude model for those art classes down at the local community college!"? I'm probably being ageist but I thought the older a person got, the less likely they were to do something like this. I guess I'm wrong. Anyway, our second model was a rail-thin, bird-like older woman in her mid-sixties I'd wager. She was stickly and easy to draw, but you couldn't help but wonder: where the hell did she come from? What's driving her to do this? Is she an artist herself? Was she a bohemian in her day? A hippie? When our teacher introduced her, he mentioned she'd done modeling for Disney animators, so I guess she might have done it because she made decent money at it. (Sidenote: Later, when I temped in one of Disney's animation buildings, adjacent to the office I worked in, there was a room where they hosted drawing sessions for the animators that featured nude models. I thought that was really cool -- a job where your employers offered free brush-up life drawing classes on-site. End sidenote.) The guy pictured here was one of the more unusual models. He was an older man, early-sixties I think, and he came up with the oddest poses. I think this one was his "Gandalf", wherein he grabs onto this walking stick (which I think he might have brought himself), plants it a foot or two away from himself, leans over and rests his weight onto it. It was hard to think about the poses as nothing more than just nude poses done solely for the sake of an art class -- I always thought about its real world application and often wondered, "When would someone do that?" And moreso, "When would someone do that naked?" And also his pose made me think of Ian McKellan naked on the set of Lord of the Rings, and that made me uncomfortable because I don't like to think of Gandalf that way. Anyway, I thought I'd post the drawing up here. Despite the strange model, I liked the way this one turned out.