Iggy Pop Stars in Life Drawing Class for Jeremy Deller Project

Iggy's got lust for art.

Iggy Pop performing with the Stooges in Hungary in 2006.Photo: Derzsi Elekes Andor via Wikimedia Commons.
Iggy Pop performing with the Stooges in Hungary in 2006.
Photo: Derzsi Elekes Andor via Wikimedia Commons.

On February 21, a group of 21 artists got together at the New York Academy of Art to take a life drawing class. However, the nude model was neither a sensual nymph nor an Apollonian youth, but the 68-year-old punk-rock legend Iggy Pop himself, posing languidly atop a table.

Pop is no stranger to exhibitionism—he’s prone to performing on stage with his upper body exposed—but in this case, he bared it all in the name of art, for a project conceived by British artist Jeremy Deller in collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum.

“For me it makes perfect sense for Iggy Pop to be the subject of a life class; his body is central to an understanding of rock music and its place within American culture,” Deller said in a release. “His body has witnessed much and should be documented.”

“The life class is a special place in which to scrutinize the human form. As the bedrock of art education and art history, it is still the best way to understand the body,” he added.

Iggy Pop performing with the Stooges in Hungary in 2006.<br>Photo: Derzsi Elekes Andor via Wikimedia Commons.

Iggy Pop performing with the Stooges in Hungary in 2006.
Photo: Derzsi Elekes Andor via Wikimedia Commons.

The 21 participants represent New York’s diverse community in terms of background, gender, and age spanning undergraduate students, practicing artists, and retirees. The drawings produced during the class, which was led by artist and drawing professor Michael Grimaldi, will be shown at a Brooklyn Museum exhibition in the fall of 2016, and will then tour to other museums (although details are yet to be announced).

The lucky artists were selected by Deller and Brooklyn Museum’s Sharon Matt Atkins based on recommendations from instructors at the Brooklyn Museum’s Gallery/Studio Program, the Art Students League of New York, Kingsborough Community College, the New York Academy of Art, and Pratt Institute.

Deller, known for his large, collaborative projects, has a keen interest in music, and has often made work involving musicians, specific genres, or music-related phenomena.

The 'UTOPIA 2016' flag Photo: LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: The 'UTOPIA 2016' flag designed by Jeremy Deller and Fraser Muggeridge studio raised above Somerset House Photo: LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: Somerset Houseís resident community of cultural organisations pose in the courtyard with limited-edition Utopia books, designed by Jeremy Deller and Fraser Muggeridge studio Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty for Somerset House

The UTOPIA 2016 flag, designed by Jeremy Deller. 
Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty for Somerset House.

In The History of the World (1997), for example, Deller drew a diagram representing the social, political, and musical connections between house music and brass bands, as a mean to explore England’s transformation from industrial to the post-industrial production. That same year, as part of Acid Brass, Deller hired a brass band to reinterpret classic tracks of the acid house repertoire.

In his 2006 video Our Hobby Is Depeche Mode, he explored the famous technopop band from the perspective of its worldwide fandom, traveling to Mexico, US, Germany, Romania, Brazil, Canada, and Russia, filming and interviewing a wide array of fans, and thus turning the piece into an anthropological exercise.


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