Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sally Ride (1951-2012)

Here's a post that's completely unrelated to art or art modeling, but I'm going to post it anyway.  I was saddened to hear that Astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space passed away yesterday after a battle with pancreatic cancer.  My younger son Elijah and I went to hear her speak at the University of Texas at Arlington in February 2010.  Elijah has always loved things having to do with space.  I've taken him to the Johnson Space Center in Houston on three separate occasions over the past five years.  For the lecture that night, he went in an astronaut uniform, and I was able to get these two pictures of him with Sally Ride.  Rest in peace Sally.  What a great trip you are on now.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lucian Freud at the Modern

I should have blogged about this three weeks ago, but the Lucian Freud exhibit opened at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth on the first of July.  That was a Sunday, so, after church, I took the wife and the two kids down to have a look at it.  It was an amazing exhibit, and yes, Naked Man With Rat was part of the collection.  It was a little surreal, looking at the original painting 25 or so years after emulating that pose in a drawing class.  It is a haunting piece, which is why it has remained in my mind for so many years.  But it was just one of many amazing pieces in the collection.  Here are just a few examples from the exhibit:

Needless to say, Jen and I enjoyed the exhibit a lot more than our boys did.  Seth, our 12-year-old, was uncomfortable and ready to go after about ten minutes.  He has developed an aversion to nudity over the past couple of years, and I'm sure he is not at all pleased that his father is a part-time nude model.  Elijah, our 9-year-old, is developing a taste for the arts, and seemed curious at the whole art museum concept.

I don't consider myself a huge fan of contemporary art unless it is art that deals with the figure, so I was really excited to see that this Lucian Freud exhibit was making a stop in Fort Worth.  And luckily for all of us here in North Texas, this is its only scheduled exhibition in the United States.  I think what I love most about Freud's paintings is their honesty.  His figures are not idealized; they are not glossed over or censored.  You see all of each body's perceived imperfections.  Genitals, when visible, are depicted in the paintings just as you would see them if you were looking at the model yourself.  And yet, all of those imperfections and brutal honesty demonstrate how wonderful each body is, in its own way.

The exhibit runs through October 28th, and you can bet that I will be going through it at least one more time. In fact, the Modern is running an 8 week painting class in conjunction with the exhibit, called "The Muse," and I'm hoping that I'll get to be one of their models...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Life and Love

Summer has always been a slow time for art modeling, at least for me.  Since I work full-time, I always have to limit my modeling to evenings and weekends, and there just aren't that many evening classes going on during the summer.  During the busy part of the semester, I model from six to ten hours per week.  But that's not steady since there are slowdowns around the holidays, spring break, etc.  I love modeling, and I really like the extra income.  But that income is not something that I can really count on when budgeting, since it is so sporadic and variable.

My wife and I found out this week that our younger son, Elijah, will need human growth hormone treatments for the next few years.  He is currently nine years old, but he looks more like he's six.  He recently had a test to see if he was just a late bloomer or if his body is not producing enough HGH.  As it turned out, it was the latter.

Most concerning to us right now is the cost and whether insurance will cover it.  Without insurance, the cost would be close to 25,000 dollars per year.  If he has to stay on the treatments for five years, that's more than the cost of our house.  Of course, not getting the treatment means that he would not grow to full height, have late puberty or even no puberty (which would mean that he would never be able to have children), and have other serious health problems throughout life.  So not getting the treatments is just not an option.  He is my son, and I will do whatever it takes to provide him with what he needs to grow into a healthy adult.  Of course, we are hopeful that we can harass and/or force the insurance company into covering these treatments.

All these concerns have me looking for another source of income.  I've already applied for a part-time night hotel desk clerk.  Who knows what all this will mean for my modeling.  I may have to give it up for a few years while I work the equivalent of two full-time jobs to provide for my son.  But it's a sacrifice I must make.