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  1. Body Art

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

    Body Art

    On Saturday afternoon, I was stretching and crawling and searching and escaping and reaching and embracing and sliding all over a clean Brooklyn apartment floor in my jeans and a tank top with my hair long and loose while being photographed and videotaped.  It felt so free and fun in that creative way like when handed a big lump of clay to mold any way one wants.  I’m not trying to imply I have that kind of flexibility, but it was that free.  Unlike posing for the actual drawing, I didn’t need to hold any position for more than a second or two.  So the choices were many.  The artist told me to make shapes and do whatever I wanted.  She would not direct.  With clothes on, all kinds of leg lifting felt comfortable.  It reminded me of the safe comfort of being in those flannel footsie pajamas as a child.  She put on music.  I started to feel I was in a silent movie telling a dramatic tale with my body and face, but mostly my body.  I felt free to choreograph, which felt new to me and fun.    

    On Valentine’s Day, I had found a posting on craigslist for a one-time gig.  An hour at most.  A female artist needing a clothed female model to photograph for reference shots.  Her process would be videotaped for possible inclusion in a show in March.  The payment was fair.  I applied with photos and a description.  She got back to me with a link to her site and wrote that she’d love to work with me.  She needed natural light which meant a daytime meeting.  We set a time for Saturday, she gave me good travel directions to her part of Brooklyn, and she included her number if needed.  I’m usually convinced that on craigslist, like anywhere, more folks are not murderers than are.  (Sex offenders – that’s another story.)

    In about a half hour, we were done.  I had crawled, rolled, writhed, and really stretched.  She had taken between 500 and 700 shots.  I had a unique and somewhat therapeutic experience, a combination of dramatic acting  and re-visiting toddlerhood.  She seemed very pleased with the shots.  That matters to me.  It never feels good to me if I don’t feel that I did a good job.  She handed me the payment for an hour’s work.  I now was able to put money on my metrocard, and I will get to payday.

    Leah Yerpe is having a solo show at Le Poisson Rouge in the Village on March 6th.  Drawings of me won’t be in this show as the work has already been selected.  I’d be honored if drawings of me are in a future show.  I like looking at her work.  I like the whole idea.  For those intrigued, below are her words and a sample of the work that will be exhibited.

    an exhibition by

    leah yerpe

    The Gallery at LPR, on March 6th 6:30 - 9:30pm. This solo exhibition features 12 new artworks, including 5 new pieces never previously exhibited.

    Stellify means to transform or be transformed into a star or constellation. Creation myths of nearly every ancient civilization include stories of humans transformed into constellations. My favorites are those in which a god, noticing one of our ancient ancestors fleeing some terrible danger, takes pity and saves them by placing among the stars. There is something simultaneously beautiful and terrifying about this concept. Much of my recent work was developed with these stories in mind.
                                There will be refreshments and an open bar serving alcohol, so we ask that guests be 21+.

    The Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge is located at 158 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012

    Sometimes, not only is the person not a murderer, but they are actually who they say they are.  And a collaboration of sorts can take place.


  2. 5 comments:

    1. RHC said...

      Yeah, you got paid , you had fun!

    2. Unknown said...

      Sounds like a good experience all around. I believe most people are decent. All the social media, however, permit accessing dark sides. It all seems anonymous and free, and so "why not?". Guess ya gotta keep your radar operating and your guard up entering these zones.

      I like Leah's picture you posted. I wonder if she'll compose something like that out of your photo session?

    3. Jack Cooper said...

      A lovely, subtle transformation: the freedom of an artist for the price of more than one subway ride, channeling Nijinsky AND Isadora Duncan -- at once -- turned (turn) to a lump of clay, feet in your pajamas, a toddler ... Set in motion by chance, surprise has no end.

    4. Thank you all for reading. Leah promised to let me know and send me a link to whatever she does of me. It will be a while.

      Jack, always exhaling poetry. :-)

      Richard, let me remind you that when a character in a certain play blamed the internet for his infidelities, that got a big laugh from the audience. lol

      I work Wednesday eves, but would love to attend the opening night of Leah's show. We'll see.

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