life drawing at occupy wall street

On October 30, with my friend Adam Katz, we hosted our first life drawing session at Zuccotti Park during the Wall Street occupation.

We drew police officers:

We brought boards, paper, pencils and charcoal:

We looked like this (Julia Sherman):

I drew this:

Other people drew these:

Adam drew us:

I made a Flickr set with photographs of all the drawings:

And I uploaded high res images here:

(Please share and circulate)

One of the catalysts for this project came on October 15th, when I made this photograph and thought: doesn’t the officer look just like a model posing for a life drawing class?

And there is something interesting about the act of seeing. Seeing as an act of power, as of surveillance, as one who surveys, one who looks over:

And a different kind seeing. An observation not about domination, but of elongated attention. Of spending time with something. Of light and shadow and space. Of noticing and of appreciation. A kind of looking that is not passive at all, but very active. (Giorgio Morandi looking)

And these exchanges of vision are not always hostile. A drawing of Officer Reyes:

Is given to Officer Reyes (and he smiles):

This project was multi-authored. Most of the drawings are unsigned, and I can’t remember who drew them. Some friends joined in, others who had read about it online, and some joined who were just in the area. I would credit all those who drew, but I can’t remember everybody. Carmelle! Sophie! Taeyoon! Anne! Denise! Julia! Who else???

Three drawing sessions occurred before the Occupation was raided.

(I only attended the first one because I went to Oslo:


and Bergen:

If more sessions occur, I will post them. If the drawings get exhibited, I will post it. If you wan’t to do your own police life drawing, DO IT!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 at 12:48 pm.