Morning Talk Meets Life Drawing

Many thanks to my longtime reader and fellow artist’s model ColdSilverMoon for sending me this YouTube video. He presumed I’d find it interesting and amusing and he was right. The hosts of NBC’s popular Today show decided to partake in some  :gasp!: life drawing at the New York Academy of Art. This video segment records their foray into the art world and it’s all lighthearted fun.

My brief assessment is this: thank god for Matt Lauer and Al Roker, taking it all in stride and making fun of themselves, because Ann Curry and Meredith Vieira are such uptight prudes. Especially Ann Curry. Girl, loosen up, would ya’? She’s all in a twist, uncomfortable and nervous about the models and the “nudity”, yadda, yadda. Enough already with this “I’m looking at a naked person!” stuff. Doesn’t she understand that she is within the confines of a figurative art school? It’s not out in public on the street in the middle of Broadway.

I think ColdSilverMoon and I are most happy to see the New York Academy of Art featured here, as it is an outstanding, prestigious school that we both admire and respect. I really enjoy posing down there. Great place for models to work. Their fall semester classes begin on September 19th, and I’m ready!

So thanks again to ColdSilverMoon for passing along this video. It’s fun for Museworthy. Enjoy everyone!

9 thoughts on “Morning Talk Meets Life Drawing

  1. fredh1 says:

    I watched that on your site and I must say the experience was excruciating. I’m sure it was less awful than the new art star reality show will be, though.

  2. KL Foster says:

    Claudia,
    This speaks volumes on the condition of the American people. They had to cover the private parts depicted in those paintings? If it weren’t so pathetic it would be hilarious. I hope that this is not going to be one of those foot in mouth moments again..but that actually made me feel a little sick to my stomach. A prime example of why I no longer watch television. It was interesting to see a little bit of the New York Academy of Art and what goes on there.

    • artmodel says:

      KL,

      Covering up the private parts in the PAINTINGS is so monumentally stupid that, like you said, it borders on comic. I guess we’ve just gotta laugh.

      I wouldn’t take it too seriously, though, to allow yourself to get sick to your stomach. Remember, It is a morning talk show – not exactly a bastion of quality, erudite broadcasting! Seeing the NY Academy of Art in action and the terrific life models are the best parts.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Claudia

  3. ColdSilverMoon says:

    Thanks for the post, Claudia – I’m honored to have my name in it! Like you, I was very happy to see life drawing and the NYAA get a nod on a major television show, however cheesy it might have been. I have three thoughts on this piece:

    1. Like KL Foster, I can’t believe they covered the “naughty bits” on their finished paintings. That’s absolutely crazy to me! I can understand the actual models, but the paintings??? Are kids now banned from the Met? Are we going to cover the building art on Rockefeller Center (NBC’s home)? Utterly absurd.

    2. On the other hand, because of their prudishness, I’m surprised they used a male and female model together. Even some art schools (especially outside NYC) consider that too risque. So I’m surprised (but glad) they had a dual pose, innocent as it was. And I’ve modeled for Catherine Howe multiple times – VERY unlike her to use a cliche concept such as “Adam & Eve.”

    3. It was much more of a “novelty” to draw the male model than the female model. I actually find this phenomenon to be quite true – new art students, especially females, are very reluctant to draw the male genitalia in any detail. I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve heard an art instructor tell a novice female student to “start filing in this section now” – it’s no mystery which section they’re talking about. Anyway, the male model was interviewed more, had his anatomy commented on more, and just received more attention in general. I find this to be true as well – it seems like drawing a nude male is a much bigger deal, especially for beginners. When I modeled in the South, I once modeled for a small school where I was the only male model. I had a freshman girl once tell me I was the first nude man she had ever seen, and was terrified to come to class the first few times I modeled. Once she got into it she really enjoyed the class.

    So while the Today piece was really silly and corny, it is probably an accurate depiction of the way many people would approach drawing from the “classic nude.”

    • artmodel says:

      ColdSilverMoon,

      Great comments and discussion, thank you! And thanks for making this post possible.

      There’s no question that male nudity is the cause of more discomfort among students than female nudity. Although we female models have been subjected to our share of leering on the part of male art students, even instructors. In any case, I am either naive or just weary over this societal problem with nudity. Probably both!

      I do think that Ann Curry’s visible WINCING when the models dropped their robes was a bit much. Not only was it priggish but it was insulting and disrespectful to the models. To make a face like that when a professional art model disrobes for you? Gee whiz. She took the whole “I’m so prim and proper” thing way too far.

      I am a big believer in context. And while I try to understand that people like the Today Show hosts are not artists and have never taken a life drawing class, the nude person in that setting is, first of all, fifteen feet away from them. Secondly, they are standing still, like a statue. They’re not engaged in any behavior that is even remotely sexual or suggestive. So the cause of the discomfort is just the SIGHT of the nude human body. And that’s what I find so ridiculous, and rather sad. We are all nude when we take a shower in the morning, get dressed, etc. Art models are not displaying anything that is alien or unfamiliar to the artists themselves. We’re all nude under our clothes 😉

      But our school looked great, didn’t it? Made me proud.

      Thanks again, ColdSilverMoon!

      Claudia

  4. Rog says:

    Like the great money makers of marketing say…

    “Any publicity is good publicity”

    So whatever any of us think of TV and what it does to peoples minds; I would have to conclude that it is all good, that these guys actually visited an art school.

    The great dichotomy of this is … TV producers and Censors are worried about what painted nudity will do to our minds. Yet they really do not care what they themselves are doing to our collected minds, what with their commericalism and the like. Let us all achieve the “alpha state” … not.

    • artmodel says:

      So true, Rog. It is mainly a positive thing that this segment aired, however childishly it was presented.

      Great observation about TV producers and their hypocritical stance in broadcasting. I still can’t get over the censorship with the drawings!

      Thanks for commenting.

      Claudia

  5. Jennifer says:

    Very entertaining! And yes, if I can remember back thirty years or so, drawing a male nude for the first time was pretty scary stuff – although I don’t recall that I missed any bits out!

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