Inside the Curious World of Nude Modeling for Artists

From the Chicago Tribune:

For most of us, being unable to get naked in public is hardly a nightmare. But Troxell is an art model. And posing in the nude, something he has done for 30 years, is key to bringing home a paycheck.

With its plethora of art schools, college art classes, art leagues and private artists, Chicago and the suburbs are home to an estimated 50 to 150 working art models at any given time, according to those in the business. It’s a group that comes in all shapes, ages, sizes and backgrounds.

“We couldn’t teach classes without professional models,” said Duncan Webb, the academic dean at the American Academy of Art in Chicago and an artist himself. “They are essential,” said Nancy Rosen, a local artist who works in mixed media. “The model brings everything to the room.”

Models are often students or members of the art or theater communities. Troxell says one model at Chicago’s American Academy of Art was an electrical engineer in Russia, and another has a doctorate in chemistry and formerly taught at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.