If you're an Iggy Pop fan, you've probably seen him naked before—Pop made his reputation in the '60s and '70s with his clothing-optional, peanut butter-friendly onstage antics. He even appeared fully in the nude on the cover of an art magazine in 1979. But even if you knew every sinewy line on his leathery, defined body, it'd still be pretty shocking to see the larger-than-life figure stark naked right in front of you—which is what happened to a group of artists at the New York Academy of Art earlier this year.
On February 21st, 22 artists with various backgrounds were invited to a life drawing class led by professor Michael Grimaldi; the model that day turned out to be Iggy. "The whole thing seemed very juicy, very enticing," one of the artists, Charlotte Segall, told us about the experience. She had no idea who she was going to be sketching when she arrived that day: "When I found out it was Iggy Pop I kind of freaked out."
The entire sitting lasted four hours: "He was super friendly and charismatic. He was at ease, and took a real interest in all of our works," Segall said of Pop. The project was put together by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, who had initially approached the musician a decade ago about sitting for a nude drawing. Pop refused: "I feel too young to do it," the then-60 year old said at the time.
The results of that day, Iggy Pop Life Class, are now on view at the Brooklyn Museum. Deller said that he wanted to reveal Pop's vulnerability and show how it compares to his on-stage prowess and rock fame. Deller described Pop as making "a very public use of his body" during his career.
As for how Pop handled four hours of stillness, Deller relayed one fun anecdote: during a pose that was set to last 25 minutes, Pop apparently announced that time was up just two seconds before the alarm went off. He later told the room he had been counting through one side of one of his records that he knew to be 25 minutes long, end to end.
Along with the sketches of Iggy, Deller bolstered the exhibition by choosing objects from the Brooklyn Museum's collection "that represent male figures from different cultures and periods around the world." The Brooklyn Museum owns all of the drawings, and it's Deller's intention that they stay as a single piece, together, instead of being sold off individually or loaned out one by one.
You can check out many of the sketches, plus a few photos from the class, above. The exhibit runs from November 4th, 2016 until March 26th, 2017.