I hope that you find it an interesting read and feel free to reach out with comments, thoughts, own experiences etc.
Republished from http://daisyvonmodel.com/2019/01/14/male-model-lars-interview/
Across the pond from me over in Lund a town in sothern Sweden is a fantastic male model by the name Lars. I am so excited to have had the chance to hear Lars’ perspective on the industry not only because of his gender but also because he has worked in several countries.
Male Fine Art Model Lars
- What inspires you as a model, is there a particular painter, photographer or artist or style that has shaped your poses?
- I’m awful with names in general so names is challenging to me. It is also, I think, harder to find inspiration as a male model in a world where maybe only one to three percent of all work published in books and magazines or seen online are with male models. Especially if you are not muscular and not into homoerotic gay male kind of genres. I pick a bit of this and a bit of that that I like, not focusing on stereotypes for gender, style or such, and try to incorporate those elements.
- You’ve done quite a number of body paintings, what about that medium specifically calls to your artistic side?
- Bodypainting really fascinated me from the first time I saw one over twenty years ago, when the Internet was a novelty to most. First impressions last and I’m still amazed by the art of bodypainting. As a model for bodypainting, you get the honor to become the artist’s work, a one time piece that will be lost down the drain later the same day. It is not only a physically close encounter between the artist and model while the painting is carried out but I also need to become the full representative of the concept and theme, to know the intention and message so that I can convey it to the camera and audience. It’s more three dimensional than most forms of modeling, so multifaceted and eye-catching, and it challenges your stamina, especially on a hot summer day with up to 12 hours from start to finish. In the end it is highly rewarding and developing.
- As a European model do you think there is more or less of a stigma posing nude than that in America?
- In general, that’s a really hard question to answer correctly in any other way than that the differences within each region is likely way bigger than that differing the regions. On top of that there are so many cultural and personal aspects to take into account. I will rather answer to if I am affected by such a stigma, by stereotypes, prejudice and similar – yes, it is there all the time. It is seldom that I hear negative reactions from prople that I mention my modelling for or who found it themselves, but how can one know if those not positive or curious are indifferent or if they may use it against you in some way? The nude body is all natural but still so sexualised and loaded with so many feelings that can be projected upon you as model, if you’re unlucky; people feeling shame, taboo, uncomfortable with their own bodies just to mention a few. Many are curious, most are accepting but … Would I tell all my relatives at a dinner? No, but my mother-in-law likes my bodypainting and nude art modelling photos. Would I list it as a hobby when applying for a job in my sector? No, but I have some colleagues at the office who knows. I’ve yet to be negatively affected by someone weaponising their knowledge of my work as model and using it against me. The fear of such foul play is a downside that comes with nude modelling, probably no matter where in the world you live.
- Do you think freelance modeling has an expiration date?
- Not as there being any hard limit but still, age is not a factor that is working for you once the peak has been passed. That is, however, no reason to quit, or not start, just because you are of a certain age. As long as you feel happy with what you do and it gives more energy and satisfaction than it takes then it’s good for you, so keep modelling! It may also differ much from genre to genre, from art to art and and be different between men and women. As figure model for life drawing and other classic forms of art the span of ages for models of interest may range from 18 to 83, and be less depending on if you’re male or female. If, for instance, we’re talking about sexy glamour style budoir photos then there may be a more narrow sweet spot and focusing on female models only.
- What has been your most memorable experience as a model?
- Maybe being part of the award-winning installation at the World Bodypainting Festival 2017 for a team of artists from Easter Island. … or the pride in seeing the set of photos that a Danish photographer took about a year ago with one winning several awards and making it to a front page. … or the fun, the interaction between artists, models and audience and the amazed reactions by people we encountered parading the cities while participating in the all nude, all very public body positivity focused Bodypainting Day in Amsterdam, Brussels and Berlin?
- What are the main differences between posing the male nude body as opposed to the feminine nude?
- The word I hear most is “curves” but just because something is repeated over and over it doesn’t make it the only truth, right? One key difference is that the general audience is used to seeing the nude female body and that it is culturally coded to carry a vast majority of positive concepts such as beauty, attraction, sexy and interesting. The male nude body is often coded with less positive adjectives, which is sad. In general people are more likely to appreciate female nude art and bodies, and dislike the male counterpart. The other key difference is which parts, and forms, of the body that are charged with which feelings. No reader should be unfamiliar with the damaging “standards” set by e.g. Facebook and Instagram, recently also by Tumblr, right? Yes, I’m talking genitals and nipples, what did you think? If seeing genitals in clear view in a picture is shocking and should be avoided for artistic, commercial or on-line censoring reasons then the male body for sure has fewer angles and poses that are viable. Personally I do not feel ashamed or negative to such exposure as long as it is an artistic image. Art can also be provocative and I’m not shy to participate as long as it’s art and that my limits are respected. There’s also the difference in that for every role model, every pose, feeling, stereotype to use or play with for a male model there are probably 20 or 50 for a female model. The difference can be a downside when working with photographers, artists and bodypainters inexperienced with male models.
- To photographers that typically shoot feminine nudes what do you think is especially beneficial to shooting a male nude?
- Stepping out of your comfort zone can be where the magic happens. Trying something different, the opposite, is always relevant and may either open your mind and lead to a new world opening up in front of you, or make your initial focus more valid. This is probably not only true for swapping female for male models but also for e.g. a studio photographer to move outdoors, for a natural light photographer to try strobes and for a photographer trying modelling, or a model stepping behind the camera. If you don’t dare to challenge your norms and habits you’ve somehow given up on a large part of the creative domain that is waiting to be uncovered and discovered.
- What advice would you give to a newer model trying to make freelancing a viable career?
- Research the field and the people you are to work with. Set your rules and stick to them. Learn from other models. Have a back up plan. Be safe, sound and smart. Come for a piece of cake and a cup of coffee if near my home town!
If you want to know more about Lars and see his recent modeling art pieces you can find him here:
A very big thank you to Lars for this interview! This community is amazing because of the connections I get to make around the world with such unique, inspiring artists!