St. Pat’s Post

I’m fairly certain that I have some Irish folk among my readership, so Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Thursday’s the big day, and I will have to navigate the city’s raucous festivities up close and personal. No, I’m not attending the parade, but my art modeling job is right on the parade route. I’m at 43rd and Fifth Avenue which, New Yorkers will know, is right in the wheelhouse. If I can just walk unmolested from the subway to the job without too many, “Heeyyy, baby, kiss me I’m Irish!!” propositions then I’ll be okay. But maybe I’ll pose with a shamrock :lol:

Just a few quick notes. Check out this article in the New York Observer about the nude art market scene. And guess who that is in the picture! Also, I’d like to share with everyone the online arts and culture magazine Glasschord. They’ve put out two issues so far, “Rebirth” and “Provenance”, and they’re off to an impressive start. Glasschord publishes prose, poetry, and visual arts, and it’s definitely worth checking out. I know Greg MacAvoy, the design director, and he is a highly creative, artistic guy.

Last, but definitely not least, my dear friend Fred Hatt is celebrating his two year blogging birthday over at Drawing Life! The two year milestone is an awesome one. So big congrats to Fred!! To commemorate here on Museworthy, here’s a Fred Hatt drawing of me, in my usual state of torment, distress, and sadness. Nah, I’m kidding. It’s just a reclining pose :-) This was done at Figureworks Gallery.

8 thoughts on “St. Pat’s Post

  1. Andrew says:

    Congratulations on having the picture of you featured in the article!

    There was an interesting comment in the article about the gender of art models: “(female, as I found out in my reporting, they almost always are)”

    I suspect that the writer’s sample size wasn’t large enough to draw a well-informed conclusion, although there is at least a germ of truth to it.

    And that ties in to the larger point of the article, which is that the market for nude artwork is small. I suspect the market for nude male artwork is even more limited. Maybe your artist followers will have some thoughts on that.

    • artmodel says:

      Andrew,

      I noticed that comment as well. Like you said, there is a germ of truth to it but I personally think it’s a little overblown, here in NY at least. Yes, there are more female models than male models but it’s not a huge disparity either. That particular sketch club mentioned in the article does use predominantly females. I just modeled there today! So the author was using that as his example. But other places here in the city – Spring Studios, New York Academy of Art, etc – have a pretty good balance of male to female models. The male models I know work very regularly and are very much appreciated and respected among the artists.

      As for the nude art market, perhaps male nudes are a tougher sell. But I see that Fred addressed that issue in his comment below.

      Thanks for your comments, Andrew!

      Claudia

  2. Fred says:

    Andrew, I’ll offer my thoughts on the sellability of nude artwork, based on my own experience and that of other figurative artists I know.

    There are a lot of people who appreciate and admire artwork of nudes but won’t buy them because they don’t have a place they feel it would be appropriate to hang such work. Lots of people visit your home, and a few of them might be either offended or inappropriately titillated by a nude. And in the workplace, displaying nude artwork could actually get you accused of sexual harassment.

    The nude artworks that are easiest to sell are generalized, slightly idealized or simplified figures that have a quality of soft eroticism. If the work is too realistic or especially if it has any portrait qualities, that is, if it appears to represent a specific individual, forget about it. Very few people will hang a nude picture of an identifiable person they don’t know on their wall.

    Male nudes are actually easier to sell than female nudes, because gay men are more likely than straights to be comfortable displaying nude art in their homes, and naturally they appreciate male beauty. But the preference for a generalized rather than an individual depiction still applies.

    There’s a specific market for collectors of erotica. Some of my work was represented for a number of years by Art at Large, a gallery/agency specializing in this market. I observed that what sold best for them was fetish-oriented material. They chose work of mine that had an erotic quality, but it wasn’t fetishistic, and didn’t sell very well.

    Within the community of artists that attend life drawing sessions regularly, the ones you meet that have careers as selling artists are generally selling some completely different kind of work, not nudes.

    I think the situation may be slightly different in Europe, where many of the cultures are far more relaxed about nudity, but I think nudes are difficult to sell anywhere.

    Of course there are a few top artists known for nudes, such as Lucian Freud, Philip Pearlstein, John Currin, Jenny Saville. So it’s possible to reach the highest tier of the art world while specializing in nudes, That level is, of course, a completely different market than the one that most artists sell to, and not easy to crack.

    Those are my observations on the subject – apologies to Claudia for hijacking the comments section for a discussion between commenters! And congrats, Claudia and Jean Marcellino, for the featured illustration in the Observer piece!

    • artmodel says:

      Hi Fred,

      No apology necessary! Discussion among commenters is more than welcome here, so hijack away!

      Great comments and a really thorough explanation. There’s nothing I can add!

      Claudia

  3. Dave Rudin says:

    Thanks, Claudia, for telling us about the Observer piece. Congratulations, too, on having your picture included.

    I was at a print fair last year and saw three prints by the well known Ashcan School artist John Sloan offered by a west coast dealer. Two were street scenes and one was a nude. All were the same size, had the same edition size and were signed, yet the street scenes were priced about three times the price of the nude. I inquired about the price difference and was told that it’s simply a matter of demand. In other words, people don’t want to buy nudes as much as they want other genres.

    Of course, the question is why.

    • artmodel says:

      Dave,

      Thanks for sharing that anecdote. It says a lot. it’s a little disappointing in fact! But that’s the way things are. I’m actually willing to give people the benefit of the doubt in this respect; I think potential art buyers LIKE the nudes on a personal level and appreciate them. They just don’t want to hang them on the walls in their homes where others will see them. I know a woman who bought a nude painting of me and she told me that she takes it down and puts it away whenever she has company. I get locked away! :cry:

      Claudia

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