A fascinating consideration of the work of life models and the models’ own perspectives on their craft.
This is a book about life modeling. Unlike the painter whose name appears beside his finished portrait, the life model, posing nude, perhaps for months, goes unacknowledged. Standing at a unique juncture—between nude and naked, between high and low culture, between art and pornography—the life model is admired in a finished sculpture, but scorned for her or his posing. Making use of extensive interviews with both male and female models and quoting them frequently, Sarah R. Phillips gives a voice to life models. She explores the meaning that life models give to themselves and to their work and seeks to understand the lived experience of life models as they practice their profession. Throughout history, people have romanticized life models in an aura of bohemian eroticism, or condemned them as strippers or sex workers. Modeling Life reveals how life models get into the business, managing sexuality in the studio, what it means to be a "muse," and why their work is important.
Sarah R. Phillips is Associate Professor of Sociology at Pacific University.