Public Parking
A journal for storytelling, arguments, and discovery through tangential conversations.
Living as a Life Model
Friday, February 2, 2024 | Lee Suksi
Many of the first naked bodies I saw were adult, varied in fitness and age. Luck and interest brought me to a public high school where we drew from life. Life drawing is a record of concentration that flattens judgement and connects eye to hand, hand to subject. At the same time, live models - as opposed to bowls of apples - make their vulnerability known with their tremors, heartbeats and blinking. For myself and my teenage classmates, these bodies awakened our sensitivities without activating our anxieties. Drawing was an uninstructed period of observation, a peaceful break in the alarm bells and chaos of adolescence. Our drawings rendered the weight of a person’s side, the looseness where an ear had been stretched and the earring abandoned and the tremble in athletes’ headstands. An older man’s missing toe gave poignancy to his standing poses. Two best friends modelling together inspired confidence. A beautiful, naked ex-classmate was reduced to the weight and light we only had the afternoon to record. We learned instinctively to press harder with our pens not where we saw shadow but in those places where we saw vitality: fingertips, eyes and genitals. We learned the potential of making marks alongside the potential of what unadorned bodies can do and how they can go.