Life drawing, intimate and immediate, is still practiced by many artists worldwide. Life drawing can be both private and social, employing a model and generally practiced in a secured studio. Being an exclusive social activity, life drawing has attracted attention from social theorists seeking to establish ideological beachheads.  Despite frequent public controversy, the classical practices of life drawing have endured since the renaissance.

     When cultivated, the practice of drawing a model develops a visual input with the outside world. This physical connection with the visual world may be why life drawing exists today, after the replacement of many classical art forms with the machine arts of photography and manufacturing. 

     In critical terms, this connection with the visual world is recognized by art critics and art historian's as an artist "having drawing", the minimum qualification to artistic success in traditional artistic practices.  The exhibition of life drawing displays this connection, the relation of the human apparatus of vision to the artists drawing body. The identity relations between all the actors in the drawing practice complicate and enrich the experience.

     The effects of the artist's knowledges, cognitions and ideologies on the figural input is shown bare. The reaction of other artists, the publics, and the critical art establishment is often a demonstration of the old expression, "art is a mirror".  

© Gary G. Erickson 2016