Drawing of Jessica by Paula O’Brian SCAS

“There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us, and not we them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking.”

-Virginia Woolf

Check Yourself, oil on paper. 8×10 inches, oil painting by M. J. Sarmiento



Since 2003 i’ve been working as a life/art/nude model.

I consider these modelling gigs as part of my continued performance art practice.

I originally got the idea to life model from having drawn from models in post-secondary art school classes. I drew soooo many nudes while studying art abroad in paris at ENSBA; and after graduating from university (and being in much debt), i decided to give modeling a try. I thought it would just be a temporary thing, but to my surprise i’ve been working at it alongside my own personal art practice ever since.

Life modeling is a very structured, physical, creative, collaborative, and meditative activity.

Life Modelling is more than just standing still, it’s hyper acute body awareness in front of strangers.

Every Body has it’s own rhythms and impulses to act in any given moment, and it’s nude models who are allowed to embody this nature of humanity in such a public space, respectfully naked at work.

As far as i know, there is no formalized training for becoming a life model.

As a self identified “clown” I use the spontaneous aspects inside a model session as means to channel the authentic ‘still’ form of a given moment.

Amusing oneself inside the illusion of stillness.

the Artist as Model.

more to come

in the meantime…

the article “Various Manifestations of Nudes in Society” by Gurpreet Kambo in the Capilano Courier… flip to pages 8/9 > > >


©2002 – 2023 Jessica Gabriel – All images are copyright of the artist (unless otherwise identified)

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