Gestures of/at Art


  • Tzachi Zamir The Hebrew University of Jerusalem



models, life sessions, artist-model relations, portraiture, nudity


An odd occurrence within a live model session is that the model, while nude, is drawn in a way which renders irrelevant the nakedness. Participants may focus on the model's face, or draw the pose while heavily blurring breasts or genitalia—the unveiling of which is, presumably, partly what the model is hired for. Why? If a live model presents an opportunity to study human anatomy or embodied gestures without the interruption of clothing, participants would likely focus upon parts which normally remain private. Instead, it is not rare to see sketches and work which could have been produced while permitting the model to wear swimwear or even substantial clothing.

Nudity's status within the artist-live model relationship will be one topic of this essay. Three additional questions will be (1) the model's motivation; (2) the degree of agency attributed to the model: for some, a mere prop; for others, a full-fledged performer; (3) the role of 'art' in the live model session given how much of it remains incomplete and not displayed.


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How to Cite

“Gestures of At Art”. 2023. Aesthetic Investigations 6 (2): 141-57.