miss january, victoria fuller, has a passion for painting
"This is really amazing," says Victoria Fuller, her face inches away from a painting by Jacques-Louis David. "The colors are bold, the shadowing is perfect. I could stare at it for hours." Meanwhile, male patrons of the J. Paul Getty Museum exhibit confusion about where to direct their gazes: at the old masters hanging on the walls, or the young masterpiece who walks among them. Meeting at this Malibu museum was Victoria's idea. She's just a neoclassic kind of gal. The glamour of Los Angeles' nightlife isn't for her; this aspiring artist prefers to express herself on a blank canvas. "I've been drawing since I could hold a pencil," she explains. "My dream is to display my art in a gallery someday, where everybody dresses up and drinks champagne and admires my work. And then they buy everything."
Growing up in southern California, Victoria turned to art as a haven from tough circumstances. Her parents separated before she was born; she didn't meet her father until she was nine. Her mother, always on the move, sent her to ten different schools in 12 years, which was not an easy way to make friends. "Being alone helped fuel my passion for art," she says, "because I made myself sit in my room and draw." An impetuous teenager - at 14 she shaved her head because she thought it was cool - Victoria became a bodybuilder at 17 and won a local competition. She sent her photograph to Playboy twice without success, then was discovered by one of our scouts during a recent modeling gig. "I didn't even try for it this time," she says. "It was just one of those things, like I had won the lottery."
Even though her lucky number finally came up at Playboy, Victoria intends to keep her focus on the canvas and sketch pad. "I'm going to go home and draw all day," says Miss January as she strolls through the museum lobby. "Seeing all this great art has me totally inspired." Judging by the looks of the art lovers who are following her wake, she's not the only one.
-- Bob Daily
Photography by Stephen Wayda