Why does an artist need a model? (Part 3)

A member of my email list recently asked:

In rereading The Fountainhead I was reminded of something I’ve long wondered about, in the story of Steven Mallory’s sculpture using Dominique as a model: why would an artist of Mallory’s stature need a model? If it isn’t a specific portrait, wouldn’t his ability and imagination be sufficient to invent (and retain in his mind) a figure projecting a more ideal image than any actual woman he’d be likely to find? …  I’d love to hear a professional’s response to this.

I passed on the question to several sculptors I know, and heard this from Holly Crocker Garcia:

I do sculpt “specific portraits” of all my models – with all their endearing quirks and flaws – down to the last detail. Myself, Erin, Katie, Becca, Heaven, Paloma, Joy, Petra – they’ve all been “portrait” models for me. I would never idealize a person in my sculpture as I think all bodies are unique and beautiful in and of themselves without the need for idealization. I could never be a sculptor without my models – in the flesh and in person. To me this is what makes them real and vital and interesting as art works.

Holly Crocker Garcia, The Snow Queen. Photo courtesy Quent Cordair Fine Art.

Holly Crocker Garcia, The Snow Queen. Photo courtesy Quent Cordair Fine Art.

There’s a great series of posts on the creation of Swann Queen here.

Holly Crocker Garcia, Reflection. Photo courtesy Quent Cordair Fine Art.

Holly Crocker Garcia, Reflection. Photo courtesy Quent Cordair Fine Art.

Holly Crocker Garcia, Andantino. Photo courtesy Quent Cordair Fine Art.

Holly Crocker Garcia, Andantino. Photo courtesy Quent Cordair Fine Art.

More

  • See more of Holly Crocker Garcia’s work on her website, or in person at the Quent Cordair Fine Art.
  • The first two posts in this series were answers by Michael Wilkinson and Zenos Frudakis. I’m posting these in the order I received them. None of the artists had seen the others’ answers.
  • To be notified of future posts in this series, join the DianneDuranteWriter/ForgottenDelights mailing list: email DuranteDianne@gmail.com.
  • Want wonderful art delivered weekly to your inbox? Members of my free Sunday Recommendations list (email DuranteDianne@gmail.com) receive three art-related suggestions every week: check out my favorites from last year’s recommendations. For more goodies, check out my Patreon page.
Posted in Sculpture Tagged permalink

About Dianne L. Durante

I constantly seek out art that's inspiring, thought-provoking, skillfully executed, and/or beautiful so I can share it (in jargon-free language) with others who need and enjoy such art, but don't have time to search for it themselves. As an independent scholar, writer, and lecturer, I focus on art history and history, with forays into food, history, politics, and publishing. My most recent projects are three volumes on Alexander Hamilton, Central Park: The Early Years, Innovators in Sculpture (a survey of 5,000 years of art in 2 hours), and videoguide apps by Guides Who Know. Click on the Books & Essays tab for a list of all books. For upcoming projects, see my Patreon page.

Comments are closed.