About four years ago I was contacted by an artist's agent in Santa Monica. He had seen my website where I used to have a large collection of nude photography modeling I had done. The agent told me that the artist, Don Bachardy, was interested in hiring me as a model for his painting. He dropped the artist's name like it was someone I should have heard of -- but I hadn't. I Googled him and found that he was a well known, established artist and one-time lover of Christopher Isherwood. He has painted portraits of such people as Mr Isherwood, of course, as well as Lillian Hellman, Tennessee Williams, W. H. Auden, E. M. Forester, and Igor Stravinsky. This is a sample of his style. And also a sample of the type of work he did with me. Although this is NOT me. He didn't let me have any copies of his work and this was what I could find on the Internet to give you a feel for his work.
I agreed to pose for him. I was flown to LA, put up in a Four Seasons hotel and hired to model for three nude days in Santa Monica. I know, it sounds glamorous and luxurious, but it was actually fairly grueling. This artist liked to work on one painting (one pose) for about an hour. Have you ever tried to hold perfectly still for an hour? No matter how comfortable the position, after about twenty minutes, I get a very strong urge to move. Just move. ANY MOVEMENT AT ALL would be nice. But I had to remain motionless. I called upon my yoga practice, my meditation and my acting skills. They helped me maintain the motionlessness, but didn't do much for the discomfort. After forty minutes it was real pain. An ache in my muscles as if they were dying. On occasion, he would let me move a body part that he wasn't working on. But it did little to alleviate the pain because, although it was a relief to shake my arm, once I returned it to the position I was holding, the ache came back instantly. It was as if my body were rejecting that position.
That was three very tough naked days. I earned my money for sure. Of course, its always nice to be contacted out of the blue and flown across the country and put up in a nice hotel, just for your body.
So, today I am at it again. I was hired by an artist named Angelo Musco. www.angelomusco.com
We had worked together about a year ago. He does a lot of nude work and uses groups of anonymous bodies in creative settings. I've seen him using sand, milk, underground tunnels and now today, we're doing underwater shots.
This should be much more comfortable than working for Mr. Bachardy. I guess we'll just jump in the water, hold onto a large piece of material and create lovely flowing shapes with it and our bodies. The only danger of pain would probably be the chlorine in my eyes and maybe a sunburn. Actually, as I type this, its starting to cloud up and looks like rain. Now I'm wondering if I'm going to be getting naked today at all.
Click here to read Nude Modeling - Part 2