Anatomy and Art

a blog by Sara Egner

A Year Without Clothes

without comments

This started out as a post about references, but I guess I got sidetracked into talking about a particular project that a couple of roommates out in California have been up to lately.  So I’m just going to tell you about A Year Without Clothes instead.  Photographer Keith Allen Phillips, otherwise known as Lucky, and his roommate/amazing model, Sylva, otherwise known as Scar, have committed themselves to a year long photography project.  Every day, they put together a photo shoot.  Sometimes these shoots are more high concept, sometimes they are simply beautiful images.  In one image Sylva is clothed, in the other she is not.

Now, for someone looking for reference as to the human form, you couldn’t ask for a much better collection than this.  Especially for those who sculpt, there is great value in getting references that allow you to see both how clothing fits a body, and also what the body looks like beneath the clothes to make them fall or cling in the ways that they do.  There is also the added benefit of being able to follow a single model across so many different looks.  But I find that I can’t just speak about this project in terms of reference, because the body of work being created here is something fantastic on it’s own right.  And it just has so many things going on to appreciate.  For one, the fashion is fantastic.  You would think that a project called A Year Without Clothes wouldn’t have such a fashion presence, but fashionistas prepare to be impressed and inspired!  For another, the creativity behind the individual shoots is pretty fantastic.  Some of them are themed.  Some of them use props or costume pieces.  Some of them are commentary.  But really, the entire collection is a work of art unto itself built upon each day’s work within it.  There is something that feels very bold and very human about this repeated expression of this one person in clothes, and rocking those clothes I might add, and then simply without them, and rocking that too.  You wind up with this sense of fashion that transcends clothing.  I guess I appreciate it as art for the same reasons that I appreciate it as reference.  It tells that story of a person beneath their clothing.  And it celebrates that person beneath.  So often we see nudity in art as an expression of vulnerability, but more often than not we see Sylva at her boldest in the nude shot.  Something about that recurrence seems celebratory of the human form.  And especially when combined with the journal they are keeping as they do these shoots, the whole thing feels celebratory of the very state of being human.

The daily images and journal are posted at


Written by Sara

April 29th, 2012 at 3:37 am

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