Benefits of Anonymity
As I'm sure many of you know (where did you get the link for this post?), Facebook is the source of most of my blog traffic. Since I only update once a week, I don't feel too bad about putting up a post about my update every time I do one. A few weeks ago I put up my little reminder post, hoping to get people to keep reading, and a cousin of mine commented on it. It was an innocuous comment with a disapproving feel, to the point of "your cousins ARE on Facebook and probably don't want to see this." While I apologize for anyone who saw something they didn't want to, that someone saw me naked while looking at my blog about nude art modeling does not bother me that much. However, I did find it interesting that this comment came at the time where I finally put up photographs. I found myself almost ashamed that I did such a thing, and then in a circular thought argument with myself about what the difference was.
I have now been posting painted, drawn, inked pictures of myself nude for over a month. I was never sure if I was going to post photos, but once I wanted to write about photography it seemed like the best way to illustrate my points. I have a lot of snapshots of me in interesting poses taken for reference which I decided not to post on this blog. There is no logical reason for me to avoid posting those pictures, they could illustrate my descriptions of poses better than I do with words. I avoid it because, while I have no problem having an internet trail of works of art I posed for, reference pictures seem unprofessional. Descriptions will have to do.
My theory is that different reactions to photographs and drawings circle around anonymity. In most of the pictures I post, my face is not depicted in a huge amount of detail. Even in the photographs I posted I am more or less unrecognizable. To artists trying to capture the human form or the feel of a pose the face means very little. It is so difficult to make accurate and such a small part of of the overall piece it would be a waste of time to bother with facial features. Most people shown in anything but portraits could be anyone. The face gives a figure an identity. I have my own face, "Model Nora" looks different every time. Art models don't need identities.
What I like is that this is true for models from every time period. We all have a connection in that we contribute to something without any recognition. We are the faceless bodies of countless Venuses and Eves, and women with guitars; forgotten players in the creation of masterpieces. While our puritan culture creates a system that will provide great compensation to anyone willing to sit around naked for a while, to really be fulfilled as a model you must love art. No one will know that is your painted figure unless you tell them and even after they know most people wont care. There's no glory in modeling, just the satisfaction of knowing you were involved in the creation of something beautiful. The pride in modeling comes from the knowledge that the work would be different without you involved in its creation.