Art Models

Photo Series

Art Models

This is a photo story about people who work as art models at the Academy of Art and Music in Moldova.
They get paid $0.50 per hour (8,50 lei) – some do it for money, some out of habit, and some are just lonely and using this opportunity to be closer to young students so that they have someone to talk to. These are their stories.

By Ivan Bideac

Antonieta Gordea, born 1941 in Donduseni, Moldova

At the age of seven (1948), She was deported by the Soviets along with her family to Siberia. She returned to Moldova in 1957 after part of her family perished in Siberia, receiving a medical education and going on to work in military hospitals as a Feldscher. She started to work as an art model after her retirement in 2003.

Petru Praiu, born 1967 in Straseni, Moldova.

After he didn’t finish his studies at the Art University in Bucharest, he worked as an art teacher in the Academy of Art and Music in Moldova. In 2013 lost his job, some say due to drinking problems but stayed on as a model.
From time to time he gives free lessons to students.

Victor Panamarchuk, born 1959 Chisinau, Moldova.

Used to work as a French teacher. In 1985 he decided to start working as a model. He always has a radio with him, and while modeling he’s listening to French stations.

Tatyana Kanatova, born 1953.

Accidentally started to model in 00’s, when her friend, a sculptor invited her to help him with his recent piece. She has regularly modeled ever since.

Ekatirina Mamberger (right), born 1944 Magadan, Russia.
Until 2002 she worked as a software engineer. When she realized that she can’t keep up with young colleagues, she started to model.

Natalia (left), didn’t want to share her details or her face.
She is still keeping it a secret from her neighbors and relatives that she is working as a nude model.