'It was just a documentation of what's left of me,' Pop tells EW.
Credit: Andreas Neumann

Iggy Pop is a man who can rarely be accused of wearing too many clothes, especially onstage. But the rock legend still managed to make headlines with his decsion last month to pose naked for a life drawing class at the New York Academy of Art, organized by artist Jeremy Dellar.

So, why exactly did the “Lust of Life” singer decide to strip down? “It was not about anything silly,” says Pop, whose new, Josh Homme-produced album Post Pop Depression was released March 18. “It wasn’t about my winkie, or anything. It was just a documentation of what’s left of me. I thought it was a good idea the artist had and I enjoyed so much the company of the 21 drawing students and working artists. It was a very nice vibe in the room. It’s not the sort of thing I’m going to start doing as a weekend job. I did it once at the start of my career, I was photographed also without clothes by Bill King and Gerard Malanga from the Warhol Factory, so it was time.”

Pop says that he occupied his brain during the 20-minute posing sessions by mentally running through his back catalog. “The way I got through it, without going crazy, was listening to my own songs from my albums — including this one — in my head,” the singer explains. “I know how long they are and inevitably when I was halfway through the fifth song the little bell would ring and then I’d get my break. I told the students at the second sitting that I was doing that, and when I came out for the third sitting it got to to 19 minutes and about 53 seconds, and I said to the guy, ‘Is it time?’ And ‘Ding! went the bell — and they laughed.”

The images of Pop from the sessions will be placed on display for a fall 2016 exhibit, titled “Iggy Pop Life Class,” at the Brooklyn Museum.