Profiles Visual Arts

The Body In Motion

The Remarkable Drawings of James McMullan

“HELLO WORLD: The body speaks in the drawings of men by James McMullan” is a tour-de-force. This renowned artist and illustrator enables you to see what he observes and at the same time, discern what his models are thinking.
McMullan’s perceptions are penetrating. In the free-flowing, hand-written cursive which accompanies each drawing, he reveals two states of mind—his and that of the model.

(There is no printed text in the entire book.) In one drawing he writes the model’s thoughts in bright red ink: “OK. One more pose.” In dark blue ink, McMullan tells us what he sees: “Generous pants and jacket contrast with an angular unforgiving head.” In every drawing the artist evokes the psychological state of his model. “I use strokes, almost transparent, and white space to represent the poetry of the body,” says this keen observer of inner feelings.

“Each tells a different story. I have no method…all the drawings are different, one from another,” says McMullan. This is especially true of the cover art. The model walks away. We see his face in profile, revealing nothing. It is the model’s open hands that tell a story. This could be a greeting to a warm, sunny beach morning or to a loved one he hasn’t seen in years. It is happy, joyful, and as in all of the drawings in this remarkable book, the body is a cascade of unspoken movements and emotions. The hands and feet say it all.

McMullan has received wide acclaim for his more than 80 beloved posters for Lincoln Center and illustrations in many national magazines including The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair. His book is dedicated “…to all the men who inspired me with the creative energy of their bodies…” G&S

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