First founded in New York by eccentric illustrator Molly Crabapple, the unlikely life-drawing concept Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School now has under its belt over 100 independently run branches across the globe, the latest of which launched last year in China’s aspiring art capital Shanghai. The itinerant class is billed as a celebration of the human form, enlisting consenting models of all shapes and sizes to pose for artists of all abilities and styles. Following its sold-out 2013 debut, the Shanghai school has gone from strength to strength, but for many newcomers it begs the question: what makes this different from your average life-drawing class?
Well, each 3-hour party is hosted by the gregarious M. M. Plumm and her Mandarin-speaking counterpart Elaine Chow, while the venue and theme varies with each event. Their last meeting, dubbed ‘Bare Bones’ in tribute to Mexico’s colourful and iconic Day of the Dead, drew over 120 artists to trendy European bistro Bloc, where costumed performers modelled and paraded the isles. The intermission is never boring either, as burlesque dancers and acrobats take to the stage to entertain the artists while a panel of judges flicks through their sketches for the zaniest works of art – after all, a bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone!
Check the website for upcoming events and locations: drsketchy.com/branch/shanghai