Life, Drawing

Performative events, drawings, objects, 2014–

Drawings pictured, in order of appearance, and session location:

Tom Knechtel (Art Center), 2014
Rebecca Campbell (UCLA), 2015
Lynn Hanson (UCLA), 2015
Raffi Kalenderian (CalArts), 2015
Nancy Nimoy (Art Center), 2014
Nery Gabriel Lemus (CalArts), 2015
Alexandra Wiesenfeld (OTIS), 2014
Allen Brewer (CalArts), 2015
Holly Topping (Art Center), 2014
Mara Lonner (Art Center), 2014
Christopher Chinn (OTIS), 2014
Margaret Lazzari (USC), 2014
Hilja Keading (CalArts), 2015
Phung Huynh (OTIS), 2014
Tom Lawson (CalArts), 2015
F. Scott Hess (UCLA), 2015


Life, Drawing is a multipart project that considers representations of the female breastless body through the convention of life drawing and through reenactment of historical artworks. The project began with five intimate life drawing sessions in which Silton performed as the model. Each session (conducted between August, 2014 and March 2015) hosted ten to twelve invited attendees (many, but not all, of whom Silton knows personally and/or whose work she is familiar with); sessions were held in Los Angeles-based academic studio environments (CalArts, UCLA, USC, Art Center, and OTIS). Silton was costumed from the waist down, foregrounding a breastless torso in the wake of a double mastectomy she’d undergone in 2011. Each invited artist was asked to contribute one drawing to the project. Life, Drawing reinscribes the weighted representation of the gendered body vis a vis subjectivity, the gaze, and otherness, and asks, among other things, what is a lesbian (but non-trans) body without breasts?

Costumes were designed especially for the project by LA-based fashion designer Shpetim Zero, and refer to both male- and female-specific garments (corset, gaucho pants, crinoline, loincloth, etc). Additionally, the garments were all created in striped fabric, a direct reference to Silton’s ongoing Stripe Project (2005-), which examines the stripe’s curious origins as a marker of otherness in the Middle Ages, when stripes were worn by society’s outcasts.

The drawings generated by the sessions form a kind of artistic nucleus, but will coexist with a series of related reenacted works which take various forms.

PARTICIPANTS IN LIFE, DRAWING: Joshua Aster, Sarah Awad, Joe Biel, Leonardo Bravo, Allen Brewer, Kaucyila Brooke, Heather Brown, Kristin Calabrese, Rebecca Campbell, Christopher Chinn, Manny Cosentino, Erin Cosgrove, Julia Couzens, Sydney Croskery, Michael Davis, Paul Donald, Dana Duff, Ken Gonzáles-Day, Lynn Hanson, Regina Herod, F. Scott Hess, Salomón Huerta, Phung Huynh, Raffi Kalenderian, Hilja Keading, Tom Knechtel, Tom Lawson, Margaret Lazzari, Nery Gabriel Lemus, Karen Liebowitz, Candice Lin, Mara Lonner, Dan McCleary, Marisa Mandler, Jessica Minckley, Jesse Mockrin, Margaret Morgan, Sandeep Mukherjee, Hillary Mushkin, Nancy Nimoy, Noni Olabisi, Stas Orlovski, Allison Peck, Renée Petropolous, Rachelle Rojany, Frank Ryan, Sarah Sarchin, Francesco Siqueiros, Mercedes Teixido, Sergio Teran, Holly Topping, Pamela Valfer, Patty Wickman, Alexandra Wiesenfeld, Suzanne Wright.