Thursday, August 12, 2010

Warhol comes to life

Anti-art, meet high art.

Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, which jazzes up figure drawing classes by using cabaret models, finds a home at the Brooklyn Museum this month. And it couldn’t find a better inspiration than the Andy Warhol exhibit currently on display.

“The Warhol Factory creates a great visual vocabulary to choose from,” said Molly Crabapple, who runs the alternative drawing school. “There’s decades worth of the most beautiful and subversive imagery.”

For the class on Aug. 14, two models will be dressed like Warhol superstars, with one taking inspiration from Bianca Jagger’s entrance into Studio 54 on a white horse, and another most likely looking to the muse Edie Sedgwick.

Past themes for the school have included Elizabethan England and a tribute to Hunter S. Thompson, with models ranging from Russian contortionists to fetish models to drag queens.

“Anyone who’s a subversive underground performer is someone I’d like to work with,” said Crabapple.

The performers are a main part of the event, but Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is still, at heart, a school, and Crabapple will lead the students through a lecture on figure drawing, including anatomy and gesture.

“The first thing I tell people is the importance of getting the entire body on a page,” said Crabapple. “You don’t want to wind up drawing a very detailed hand and not have the head fit. It’s embarrassing.”

Snafus aside, all are welcome to attend, as students range from those new to a sketchpad to artists with some technique under their belts.

“I have everyone from art students to world famous artists to people who’ve never drawn before and want to do something creative,” said Crabapple. “When you figure draw, you draw to get better at pieces. The drawing itself isn’t the purpose, though you can produce lovely drawings.”

Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School at the Brooklyn Museum [200 Eastern Pkwy. at Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, (718) 638-5000], Aug. 14, 2-4 pm. There is a $15 materials fee, and registration is required. For info, visit


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