I suppose it’s only appropriate that someone who goes by the moniker “revisionist vintage” has an appropriately vintage day job. I mean, if we’re debating semantics, I really don’t have a “day job”, in that I don’t take the train downtown to the same place every day, sit in someone’s flourescently-lit office cubicle, and slowly die inside. I stopped doing that in 2013. But the job I’m referring to..? I’m an art model. Roughly 90 times a year, which averages out to twice a week, I flit off to some college/art school/cultural center/artists’ club, strip off my knickers, and stand/sit/recline VERY still for hours, while innumerable artists practice their drawing/painting/sculpting skills. It’s a job that’s been around since ancient Greece, and the amount of times it was asked if girls and women appearing on What’s My Line in the 50’s were art models is… surprising. (I do have a secret life mission of watching every extant episode and documenting which ones contain references to art modeling.)
Sometimes, usually, this job is great. I love being part of the creation of art, even if it isn’t me doing the creating. I like being someplace different every day. And, you know, I’m a god, and if not worshipped constantly, I’ll die.
I’m kidding. Sort of. There is something intoxicating about working with a truly exceptional artist, having the chance at collaborative immortality.
Sometimes, as with any job, it sucks. Being very still, or specifically, finding a pose you can hold for 30+ minutes without moving and without wanting to die/fidgeting/passing out from pain is REALLY DIFFICULT. There’s a reason a bunch of classical art depicts people reclining. I have an honest-to-god list of places with the best pillows. (You win, Skokie Art Guild.)
In any case, have a peek into my gallery of narcissism. No, really, that’s what I call the stack of sketches, gesture-poses, and other works that I’ve been gifted by artists over the years. These are from my digital gallery of narcissism, in that they are either images posted by the artists that I’ve gleaned from the internet, or photos I’ve sneakily taken during sessions. Unfortunately, it’s been a million years since I grabbed some of these photos from the internet, so I can’t attribute most of them the way I’d like to.
I sat for Grotesque Burlesque back in 2015 with my space suit, and this is my absolute favorite image from the session.
(C) Joseph Taylor
This one was from the same Grotesque Burlesque session as above. This pose is usually referred to as “falling Icarus” in the art world, but I interpreted that a bit more pin-up styled than usual.
This one (above) was from the now-defunct Pauper’s Art Guild in Arlington Heights. It’s saved in my art folder as “KATHLEEN” The proportions on this one are nuts, and I kind of dig it.
From the Palette and Chisel. I have legitimately no idea who did this one. I snuck this picture during a break between sittings because, I mean, are you looking at it?
Bonus shot: Me actually doing my job. Sitting for a demo by Larry Paulsen (Who is a dinosaur and has no website for me to link you to, nor any social media. Send him a carrier pigeon if you want.) One of Larry’s pieces of me is also the featured image for this post. (But not the one that we did in this demo)
One of my absolute favorites, a classroom demo by Juan Ruiz at NEIU. This one started with a skeleton, which the whole class sketched, and then I took the place of the skeleton, and they put me on top of it. I love my butt with the hip cradle still visible underneath!
If you’re curious about sitting for an art class, or are nervous to start, I’m happy to answer questions also!