I am not generally prone to apocalyptic thinking. I try, with varying success, to avoid buying into doomsday scenarios. I’m definitely no pollyanna, but I do my best to think positively and maintain hope that the human race will sort out its conflicts and rectify its fuck-ups. Given recent events, I think I’m done with all that.
The Gulf oil spill is now clearly visible from space. Think about that for a moment. From space. When I saw this photo, part of me died inside. And more parts died when I watched this video from NASA. It is heartbreaking. Maddening. Obscene. And completely immoral. I apply that last word without hesitation. When I see pictures of that vile, nasty filth, spreading throughout the waters, polluting an entire ecosystem, I grieve. Not just for the marine life, which I care deeply about, and not just for the families of the eleven workers who were killed, and not just for the Gulf residents, but for the entire human race. I lament over the human race. I am infuriated with the human race. I wish I could inflict a giant bitch-slap (a rough, hard, violent one) upon the the human race. We are disgusting. We are selfish and careless and ignorant. That oozing mass of sludge is there because we put it there. This is how we pay back Mother Earth for all she gives us. Mother Earth which sustains us. Mother Earth who provides us with air to breathe and water to drink and food to eat and places of beauty. This is how we show our gratitude. A catastrophic chemical disaster that, in the worst case scenario, could render significant parts of the Gulf of Mexico no longer biologically viable. Well done, humans! Well done. Drill, baby, drill!! 👿
Quick pose sketch of me by Bruce Williams:
It’s at times like this that I draw enormous comfort from the pure, uncomplicated, and innocent nature of art modeling. Yes, it really is innocent. And civilized. And harmless. In a quiet atelier uptown or a funky studio downtown, tucked away in a little corner of the city, some creative soul is just . . . drawing. Or painting, or sculpting. And we models are there for them. Nude, posing, accommodating, befriending, sharing a laugh, drinking coffee. Everyone’s happy and no one gets hurt. It’s a warm, safe, benign little bubble.
The extreme opposite of we poorly-paid, no health insurance, no job security, riding the subway to work art models, are the power people of the world. The lying, greedy douchebags who are engaged in million dollar deals, bribes, cheating, inflicting misguided, potentially destructive decisions on the unsuspecting masses and the precious planet. Both politicians and private sector bigwigs fall into this category. Everyone pretty much hates the corporate leadership of BP, which is thoroughly deserved. We also hate the corrupt and irresponsible government “regulators” whose incompetence is now exposed for the whole world to see. I guess they don’t mind everyone knowing that they were either sleeping, fucking, getting high, or jerking off when they were supposed to be doing their job. Assholes. How do they look at themselves in the mirror?
Drawing of me by Fred Hatt:
What’s amusing to me, and ironic when you think about it, is that a life model who poses nude (oh my god . . . NUDE!!) is probably not at the top of most peoples’ lists for “wholesome” professions. But it should be. If morality is the barometer for good and evil, then art models are saints! What we engage in on a daily basis is completely natural and free and honest, utterly without guile. It’s generous, gentle, and pure. We don’t pollute, we don’t steal, we don’t cheat. Instead, we spark artistic inspiration and celebrate the human form. And we have nothing to hide, literally. Conversely, BP is barring journalists and photographers from covering the spill. Oh, we can’t let the public see the tar balls and the dead sea turtles now can we? These are contemptible individuals, and those they enlist in their treachery – PR “spokespeople”, and assorted flunkies – are complicit enablers, actively trying to cover BP’s ass. They are therefore equally contemptible. To those people I say, you’re ALL guilty you motherfuckers.
As it has many times in the past, art modeling will console me in its loving, soothing embrace. It will reaffirm my place in the world which may be small and inconsequential in the large scheme of the things. But that’s precisely what’s so comforting about it. I’m posing on Saturday at Figureworks Gallery in Brooklyn. A small space, a small, intimate group, quiet and calm. My sanctuary. I can’t wait 🙂