Monday, May 25, 2009

Book Review

Rooney, K. (2008) Live Nude Girl: My life as an object Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas Press.

For this weeks entry I am going to review a book. The book is by Kathleen Rooney, and is titled Live Nude Girl: My life as an object.
This book is the first person account of being a nude model for artists. The book is divided into six chapters. Each chapter examines the authors experiences beginning with why she chose to model nude. Chapter two reflects on the sexuality issues associated with posing nude, both historically, and through her own time spent on the model stand. The third chapter examines issues of mortality, and how figurative work extends an individuals presence on earth. Chapter four is devoted specifically to modeling for photographers. Chapter five discusses gender issues, and chapter six offers the authors concluding thoughts. The book was very well organized and the author was succinct in her thoughts. I enjoyed reading this book, and have gained even more respect for the men and women who aid artists in their artistic endeavors by posing.

One of the things that most surprised me was the variety of artists Ms. Rooney worked with. In her reflections she talks about working with everyone from college professors in classroom situations, well established artists in their studios, to those who are experimenting with art making. As I define myself as an artist it is interesting to see how others are doing the same, but in a different way. This was not a part of the narrative of the book, but it was something extra that I gathered as I read through each chapter.

I would recommend this book to any developing or established artist. Apart from the relevant topics Ms. Rooney addresses, their are a number of other issues present, such as the one I identified. The artist/model relationship is important to the continued development of the visual arts, and this book does much to further these relationships.

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