Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Available

For the entire month of August, performance artist Brian Feldman has decided to make himself "Available" to do anything you need help with. Do you need your car washed? Laundry folded? Lawn mowed? Dog walked? Dinner prepared? Someone to go shopping with? Someone to see a movie with? Kids watched? Help crossing the road? Services of the self-proclaimed greatest designated driver of all time? Just fill out the form and he is available for you. It is like hiring a friend to help out for FREE!
One request caught my eye from the start. Karen Cali (KC), a figurative artist, wanted Brian to post nude for her. As KC wrote, "I do charcoal work from the figure and there's a shortage of male models in general and my money to pay models in particular." There was a mad flurry of e-mails as this private sketch session was arranged. Several sketch locations were considered and then discarded, including the Mobile Art Show and Blank Space. Since I was having a sketchbook display at Frames Forever & Art Gallery, we finally decided this would be the perfect spot for a quiet Sunday morning sketch session. Katie Windish, who owns the shop, is still offering huge clearance discounts on everything in stock. She even bought in a whole pile of art books, DVDs and other items from home. She had a tiny digital camera that she wanted to sell and before Brian got to the shop we duck taped it to the far wall opposite from where he was going to pose. We made no effort to disguise the camera, we just wanted to see if he would ever notice it. It took him about half an hour, but when he did notice it we all had a good laugh.
KC had bought her own artist sketch bench and a flood lamp. Brian hung a black drape over the windows of the shop door. KC and I dropped our cell phones off in the back room of the shop with Katie. She was busy working on a framing job and wasn't prepared to see Brian nude, so she stayed hidden. She did stop out when Brian had a break and was in his bathrobe. I showed her my drawing but kept my thumb over the private parts. KC did a great job of posing Brian and reassuring him as he found his pose. He is actually a really good model since many of his performances involve stamina and patience. KC did two drawings and I worked on this blog sketch. The second pose was a standing pose, and offered the full monty. I decided to stick with this sketch where his clenched hands hide his privates. I have a newfound respect for the lengths Brian will go to for the sake of his art.

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