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Striking A Pose

Striking A Pose

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By Anita Kunz. Published by Fantagraphics. 

Hardcover, 152 pages, Colour, 2023. 

What would Jimi Hendrix, Clint Eastwood, Ricky Gervais, Stephen King, and over a hundred other pop culture icons look like if they posed for your Live Drawing Class? That is the burning question decisively answered by Anita Kunz in Striking a Pose.

Inspired by her own art students’ struggles and triumphs with nude life drawing, Anita Kunz turns her brushes to nearly 150 speculative portraits of famous figures, stripped of their vanities and as unpretentiously posed as life models. Alone or grouped, male marvels and monsters and musicians stand, lean and sit for the imaginary eye of the acclaimed painter and illustrator.

Drawn with a casual wit, Kunz’s caricatures combine with naturalism to undercut the mystique of her subjects. The well-known faces become less significant than the unknown bodies, as though the celebrities and creators are descending from their pedestals in order to pose.

Less directly comic or polemical than her previous Another History Of Art (Fantagraphics, 2021) Striking a Pose nevertheless includes a feminist flip on the role of the nude model, Kunz upends historical gender prejudices within the fine art world while also finding a welcoming humor in the bathos of the naked body.

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