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Shortly after appearing in Jean Paul Gaultier’s 2007 runway, Canadian model Coco Rocha’s expressive body language earned her the title “Queen of Pose”. Photographed by Steven Sebring, Rocha’s new book The Study of Pose: 1,000 Poses features the iconic model in Renaissance sculpture-like poses, drawing inspiration from the likes of Botticelli’s Venus and Michelangelo’s David.

The art of posing, or in artist and graphic novelist Leanne Shapton’s words, “posturing”, goes back several centuries. From German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann’s figure drawing grids to Salvador Dalí’s early ballerina silhouettes, models have been experimenting with different silhouettes.
In the 70s and 80s, and under the direction of collage and pastiche-maker Jean-Paul Goude, Grace Jones gave us some of the most iconic and groundbreaking poses, combining her androgynous looks with and avant-garde contortions. On Jones’ famous but digitally altered arabesque pose for her Island Life album cover, Goude said, “Unless you are extraordinarily supple, you cannot do this arabesque. The main point is that Grace couldn’t do it, and that’s the basis of my entire work: creating a credible illusion.”
Unrealistic and challenging poses have long been fascination for artists, photographers and models alike. Rocha first tackled a posing project in 2011, when she performed 50 poses in 30 seconds for artist Jeremy Kost‘s viral video. She then did a follow-up to the clip with 19 Jumping Poses by Tony Kim for Target in 2012.
So watch Coco Rocha pose for Kost’s video below. Then check out her book, Study of Pose: 1,000 Poses.

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[Photo sources: AnOther Magazine]