19 October 2007

Conclusion to Modeling Life

First things first, Jan Knutsen of ArtNude-Blog recently posted a link to me on his blog. I contacted him soon after discovering his weblog of artistic nudes which showcases a collection of really nice work of other artists and welcomes artists to submit their work to him for posting. He also has his own website of artwork which will certainly appeal to you at http://www.janknutsen.com/.

I have finished Sarah R. Phillips' book, "Modeling Life: Art Models Speak About Nudity, Sexuality, and the Creative Process". After consuming the entire contents, I can say it was well work the read and purchase. As I mentioned previously, I can personally identify with every issue, concern, and story she presented in her findings. The last portions of her book deal with model interviews and then she gets into her discoveries on what it takes to become a good art model. I know modeling for is hard work and strenuous on the body, but she pointed out that over time, this profession can significantly have an impact on your body, especially where chronic pain and joint pain is involved. I hadn't really given much thought the long term affects of modeling, but again, it would have been better to have a larger sample size than 30 models located in Portland, Oregon to base her findings on. In sociology, you have to become a statistics nut, so I am somewhat surprised that after admitting to spending several years on this project, she didn't feel compelled to venture out a bit more.

Another thing I was surprised with are a few issues she left out of her book. She lends deep insight to sexual perspectives, which is one of her specialty fields of study, according to her university link bio. She also covers a variety of aspects in art modeling, such as older models (briefly), but three big topics to cover which were omitted are race, religion and maybe large models. I was pretty much the only black art model around. There was one black female who refused to remover her panties, but she only modeled once. No black males, other than myself even thought about doing this. With her background in observing the way people think, I wish I could have benefited from her experience. Religion is another topic I wish she could have briefly touched on to give a perspective on the church stigma and how models dealt with it or whether or not they even had to. I modeled in the Bible belt so there was indeed a certain connotation about that there. I have dealt with large models, but you don't get that many. A perspective from a model such as in these images of whom I worked with here may have been a good addition.
Overall, I was pleased with her work with the exception of her conclusions on photography. I wish she could have talked with me before writing this. I think I would have been able to offer a helpful contribution to her work with my dealings in this matter as well as my education in Human Sexuality from both a sociology and a psychology standpoint. Many sociology students had to take business statistics at some point and I excelled in that too. I invite any of you review her work for yourselves. I'd love to hear some of your perspectives.

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