All beauty has a strangeness within and an element of the "forbidden". If an artist is unable to portray the real beauty before him, what ever the sex shape colour or age of the model, then he performs the art of the voyeur. The inability to accept and appriciate the beauty of all our differences if left unquestioned becomes the root of racial hatred. The pornographic industry and concentration camps alike proclaim the cheapness of human flesh. An artist's job must be to see that priceless jewel of induvdality that lies within each of us. If the world remains unable to see the beauty in all human forms then the case for cloning of humans can only become stronger, "Vive la differance!"
Life drawing is perhaps the most important part of being an artist and yet I hear they no longer teach drawing in many art schools, no matter what form your art takes it is essential I find every couple of years to touch base and look again at the human form. The self portrait is yet a another almost theraputic tool which in my case allows me to remain connected to the human race reminding me that I too even in my solitary monastic existance am part of something much bigger.