December 20, 2017

"Modeling nude for artists is an age-old tradition. But there is an unofficial code of conduct associated with painting someone nude..."

"... that includes informing models in advance that they would be expected to undress; making sure the subject is comfortable posing unclothed; refraining from commenting on a model’s body; keeping the atmosphere professional and avoiding personal questions. According to the women who spoke to The Times and HuffPost, Mr. Close violated this code, making inappropriate comments about their bodies, probing into their private lives and holding out the prospect of their being painted by a venerated artist to lure them to his studio, with what seemed to them no real artistic intent or result."

From "Chuck Close Apologizes After Accusations of Sexual Harassment/Several women complained that the celebrated artist, known for his outsize portraits, asked them to pose naked and made inappropriate sexual comments" by Robin Pogrebin in the NYT.

You should be aware that Close is a quadriplegic.



Fernandinande said...

Accusations of Sexual Harassment
... made inappropriate sexual comments

Making rude or thoughtless comments isn't harassment.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Good. Another one eaten by their own.

I'm still not tired of all the winning.

madAsHell said...

The punch line was "No, Mrs. Jones we want to use Bobby for third base."

Otto said...

Prediction: painting is going to be a dead field in 50 years, thanks to the camera and digital technology.
Unofficial code is a crock.

etienne said...
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Henry said...

Close is also a really old nutcase. If anyone could have gotten away with not apologizing it was him. Missed opportunity.

The Mysterious Metamorphosis of Chuck Close (originally NY Times):

“If Hilton Kramer liked my work, I’d slit my wrists. John Canaday hated me, too. Deborah Solomon doesn’t speak to me anymore, because I was at a cocktail party and she’d just written a profile of someone that was so nasty, and I said: I don’t know how you live with yourself. It’s like being a meter maid — all you do is bring people misery.” He talked about his late-life affinity for younger women. “It turns out that a wheelchair is some sort of funny babe magnet,” he said. “When I’m going through the Miami Art Fair, thousands of beautiful women are hanging all over me.”

* * *

The two props of the nude model are the bathrobe and the pedestal. The model does not walk around nude except when being drawn. And -- this is more art school -- the nude model stays on the pedestal.

Many of the nude models I knew were artists or performers who wanted the experience of posing -- either emotionally or professionally.

There were some models with less utilitarian motives. There was one guy -- fit but decaying -- who always addressed his full-frontal to the prettiest student. An unrequited love.

* * *

Close seems to fall in the Kozinski category -- the guy who used his status as coin to wheedle and leer.

Henry said...

Otto said...
Prediction: painting is going to be a dead field in 50 years, thanks to the camera and digital technology.

Painting is already a dead field. And has been for 50 years.

You might want to take a look at Close's actual work. He is a visual genius. And photography is his friend.

Gahrie said...

Prediction: painting is going to be a dead field in 50 years,

I predict the opposite. I predict that the human touch, with it's imperfections, will be at a premium. Hand crafted furniture etc.

buwaya said...

There is just as ancient a tradition of artists painting their wives, mistresses, girlfriends, of acquiring such from among their models, etc.

Goya got it on regularly with the Duchess of Alba ("La maja desnuda").

So it was not necessarily a power relationship.

Rabel said...

He looks familiar.

etienne said...
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buwaya said...

Painting is, when taken seriously according to traditional schools, a very difficult technique.
All traditional art has very difficult techniques.
Sculpture in stone is in a worse way than painting.
Its difficult to get talented kids to commit to a rigorous education in such techniques.

Ken B said...

And very easy to get them to hide or destroy examples of it. The Met recently declined to take down art some SJW declared evil.

Daniel Jackson said...

Artists, like artisans, are notoriously clinical about their subjects/models. Like doctors, they learn the human form from cadavers. How to render multi-dimensions into two with light and shadow to convey tactility and dynamism. They are a temperamental lot, who act like children reaching out and touching.

You have to be firm with them and tell them no. They'll back off. They keep trying. Bark and smile.

Otherwise, avoid the situation well beforehand.

Darrell said...

I know all the rules.
But because I don't have any artistic talent, I have to trace them on a big piece of paper.
Sometimes the lines get blurred.

Michael K said...

Fra LIppo Lippi painted his mistress who was a nun. he was a monk.

This is she.

Eventually, they were released from their vows and married. Their son, Fillipo Lippi was also a well known painter.

Father and son are often confused.

George M. Spencer said...

In 1988 a spinal artery collapse left him nearly totally paralyzed. He regained movement after intense rehabilitation. (Before that he had a rare disorder that made it hard for him to lift his feet.)

He also suffers from prosopagnosia, a rare disease which leaves him unable to remember faces. Face blindness.

“In life, you can be dealt a winning hand of cards, and you can find a way to lose, and you can be dealt a losing hand and find a way to win. True in art and true in life: you pretty much make your own destiny. If you are by nature an optimistic person, which I am, that puts you in a better position to be lucky in life.” --Chuck Close

bagoh20 said...

Quadriplegic? "quad" that mean four. That leaves one limb - the one that automatically makes him evil and dangerous.

Sebastian said...

Could women please tell us what's "appropriate" now? For example, is it only appropriate to comment on their physical features after they say, "Wanna fuck?", or might it be appropriate sooner? Does a man need to be a 10 or a sophisticated PUA to make any advances at all?

I am not calling for actual sexual morality, of course--I know that's too much to ask in these postmodern times. Just rules of the road--all we can reasonably expect.

traditionalguy said...

Word is that Stephen Hawking is a serial seducer of women. He out smarts them.

Steve said...

Those women who complain are signifying what rules they want. They want sexual relations, or even only flirtation, to be confined to only those instances when there's consent that can be verified and perhaps witnessed. That is, they long for marriage, where the consent is presumed to exist (though one spouse can be convicted of raping the other). This reminds me of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Mikado". In that 1885 operetta, the Emperor of Japan decided to improve the morals of his subjects and so declared "That all who flirted, leered or winked (unless connubially linked) should forthwith be beheaded." It goes without saying, though it is said by the players, that married persons never flirt, leer or wink with their spouses. Thus, in that fictional Japan no one may flirt, leer or wink without losing one's head. Today, anyone subject to flirting, leering or winking loses her head, and then the flirter loses his job. It is much more pleasant on the stage than in real life.

Unknown said...

why should we care that he is a quad in regards to this story?
Sounds like, "You should know he is black" or "you should know he is gay" or any other meaningless twaddle when it comes to the subject at hand.

eddie willers said...

You should be aware that Close is a quadriplegic.

Like O. Henry, a great twist at the end!

Henry said...

why should we care that he is a quad in regards to this story?

In a pinch you can run up a flight of stairs.

MadisonMan said...

This is another example that makes the women in question seem incredibly weak to me. Oh NO! He asked me to pose naked! He made sexual overtures! I feel violated!

If someone asks you to pose naked, and you don't want to: Say No and Leave!

If someone is trying to entice you into a sexual relationship and you don't want to: Say No and Leave!

William said...

I think the quadriplegia is a significant fact. Whatever he's saying may make the woman feel uncomfortable but not not physically threatened. Beyond this, give the guy a break. There not a lot of joy in the life of a quad. Would it kill you to allow him his small pleasures?

Wince said...

Next we'll hear decades old allegations have just surfaced against Tyrone F. Horneigh.

"This is the last time I'll try this."

Wince said...

I guess it started as a congressional sloshed fund?

"Unlike other politicians, you never hear any stories about [Hubert] Humphrey and broads..."

MacMacConnell said...

"Many of the nude models I knew were artists or performers who wanted the experience of posing -- either emotionally or professionally."

I did it for the money.

David said...

I did not know that Close was quadriplegic.

It has seemed to me that his subjects are suffering some kind of agony.

I wonder if there is a connection.

David said...

"why should we care that he is a quad in regards to this story?"

Comment Density Rating: "Black Hole."

n.n said...

King Arthur bid him good day and left, why didn't these women?

n.n said...

Did he threaten to bight their shins? Did he hold a scalpel to their throats?

walter said...

“As a quadriplegic, I try to live a complete, full life to the extent possible,” he said. “But given my extreme physical limitations, I have found that utter frankness is the only way to have a personal life.”

miklos000rosza said...

Come on. How many films have there been made about people begging to be killed because they're faced with becoming quads? I have nothing but contempt for any of these models no matter what Close supposedly said. If they didn't like being in his presence they just should've left. No one was exactly holding a gun to their head to make them stay.

walter said...

At least based on what he has reportedly said on the matter, reads to me like he knows what he's doing and thinks his disability gives him some sort of license.
I would bet plenty of folks with similar disability level view him that way too.

Lewis Wetzel said...

It is clear to me that Close should have claimed to be gay as well as being quadraplegic. That way he could have depicted the accusing nude modelers as homophobes. God only knows what it means it be a gay quadraplegic.
Given the new rules of engagement, winning is incredibly easy. You don't have to prove a damn thing. You just have to shamelessly claim things. I am in the vanguard here, other men don't seem to have picked up on this as quickly as I have.

Henry said...

The harassment is fairly clear. Close was asking to leer and pry in exchange for career advancement. Like with Kozinski, the barter centered around access. Close had it and the women wanted it.

But for pete's sake, this is the NYC art world. The ONLY thing that matters is access. There is NO way to get access except through personal relationships. Close took advantage of the ambitions of very naive young women. That makes him an asshole. But greed and naivete are a bad combination.

There were thousand-word articles written about the man and his craziness. AVOID HIM!

rhhardin said...

Strip clubs have the opposite problem.

Maintaining the illusion that it's sexual when it's actually business. They have bouncers to enforce it.

Robert Cook said...

"Prediction: painting is going to be a dead field in 50 years, thanks to the camera and digital technology."

They've been saying that for the last 100 years. If anything, we're seeing a return to teaching ateliers where traditional methods of representational painting and drawing are being taught.

It was the arrival of photography in the 19th Century that spurred the move away from purely representational painting and toward the many permutations of painting that have followed,as the documentary function of painting was no longer as necessary.

Robert Cook said...

"Its difficult to get talented kids to commit to a rigorous education in such techniques."

See my previous comment. Young art students want a rigorous education in traditional techniques. (I took life drawing classes at the Art Students League in NYC for 25 years...the students are very serious and have always been so.)

Sydney said...
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Caligula said...

"Those women who complain are signifying what rules they want."

It's not about rules, it's about "unwanted." Men are supposed to know beforehand whether what they are about to do or say will be wanted, and behave accordingly.

And the tricky part is not devining what will or will not be wanted, but recognizing that even if what you said or did fell in the "wanted" category when you said or did it, your speech or actions may be re-categorized minutes, days, or decades later as standards, the woman's emotions, and the man's status and overall attractiveness evolve.

Women are tired and fed up with deflecting attention from unattractive, socially awkward men. The intent is that such men should know who they are (or may become) and behave accordingly.

There are no rules, there are only judgements.

Rusty said...

I can't speak for anyone else, but in my daughters case before you can take any digital art classes you have to have a grounding in the graphic arts. In her case drawing and sculpting.
My experience with nude figure drawing was that the novelty wears off quickly when it dawns on you that you have to have something to show the instructor at the end of class.

Jupiter said...

“I came to the conclusion that I was not being photographed as an artist but as a woman,” she said.

walter said...

Yeah..being asked to go topless is a hint.

Unknown said...

All these comments, and no one has posted this famous limerick?

While Titian was mixing rose madder,
His model posed nude on a ladder.
Her position, to Titian,
Suggested coition.
So he ran up the ladder, and had her.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.