NYC art-school models: Kiani
Nude and interviewed.
Tue Sep 13 2011
Photograph: Marielle Solan
How did you get into modeling?
I originally came to New York from San Juan, Puerto Rico to train with Alvin Ailey, but I got a knee injury because I was doing that from 9am to 4pm, and then waitressing from 5pm to 2am! Modeling was a way to make good money and not get injured in an environment that I really liked. And I've always been involved with art.
Do you take a particular approach to the job?
Well, I've been on the other side in drawing class, so when I started modeling, I tried to think from the artists' perspective, you know, Is this a difficult pose, or a good angle? Would I like to draw this position myself?
Has there ever been a situation where modeling nude made you feel uncomfortable?
Only when I posed at NYU. They didn't have heaters, which was a hard for me because—I mean, I'm from Puerto Rico, right? I don't pose at NYU anymore.
Are there any downsides to the job for you?
Well, I love nude modeling, but every day, from like 9 in the morning to 4? It's intense because you're immobile for all that time. So I would just say a maximum of three times a week is plenty!
What's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you?
I once modeled for a sculpting class, and I had to stand on this little podium that turned while all the artists sat around me in a circle, which was kind of freaky, right there. But I also have this condition that if my period is late, it's like a catastrophe: I puke, I feel light-headed, I get hot flashes—like I'm pregnant or something, though I'm not. So on this particular day, I'm feeling really bloated, and I'm on this podium turning around and around in circles. And then I began to flip out, because all the sculptures around me looked like they had huge boobs. And being a dancer, I'm thinking, I hate having huge boobs! And that's when I fainted, in front of the whole class, naked!