WANTED! A home for 18 naked women.

More precisely, Fulford artist Andres Jaroslavsky is seeking a gallery or exhibition space for his oil paintings of The Female Body Through Life in the Argentine ex-pat's adopted home city of York.

Andres, a self-taught figurative artist, will complete three years' painstaking work on the series in his home studio in Lesley Avenue in September, so here is good notice of the opportunity to present the work in public.

"In times when the vast majority of images of women are being digitally altered, these paintings propose a contrasting view, a more honest and natural understanding of ageing and shapes," says Andres in his website introduction to his project.

The life studies are based entirely on volunteers from the York area, 30 women having putting themselves forward for the paintings, from which Andres subsequently selected 18.

"They responded through Facebook or through friends, and initially I interviewed each of the 30 women and took fully nude photographs and sketches. That would take two or three hours and then I'd ask them back, first to paint more details and finally for the facial portrait. So far I've chosen 16 of the life studies and it will be 18 by the time I finish.

"I've chosen them for variety, different ages, different bodies, different nationalities – they include a Brazilian woman, a Rumanian woman, an American dance teacher and a student from London student, all living in York – and they all came to me to be painted for different reasons. In fact two of the women are now thinking about making a documentary, interviewing the women involved and asking them why they wanted to pose.

"For one, she had lost eight stone, and it was a celebration of her 'finding her body'. One came along with a friend, and ended up being the one who took part, and she told me no-one had seen her without clothes on for ten years.

"For some it was like parachuting for the first time, doing it because it was exciting and unpredictable; for one, she was pregnant and wanted to preserve that moment in her life; for another, she was comfortable in her skin because her husband had always found her beautiful.

"A common theme among them was recalling how terrible girls were with each other at secondary school over body shape, and it was also interesting that the one age group who didn't come forward was women in their forties because they weren't confident about their bodies, whereas lots of women in their 20s, 30s, 50s, 60s and 70s wanted to take part."

All the life studies were done in the living room before Andres expanded his house with a purpose-built studio where he continues to work on the paintings as well as holding the portrait and life-drawing classes that he has transferred from his former gallery, Corner Gallery in Scarcroft Road.

"You see the textures of the room in the paintings; the sofa, the painting equipment; a tube of oil paint; a mug of tea; plates, sculptures. It's an everyday setting; it's how they look naturally. Part of the study for me is that I reject the idea of making the women look like polished objects. Life is life, so I try to present a very honest representation of how we change through life," he says.

Andres also paints portraits – poet, playwright and radio presenter Nigel Forde is his latest study – "but it's the human figure I find most interesting," he says. "You won't find many landscapes among my work. The whole psychological side of painting a life study is so much more interesting, when people come to pose. It's fascinating that they reveal more about themselves when they're naked; they expose themselves more."

None of the paintings is sexual; sensual, yes, but not sexual, stresses Andres. "There's nothing Freudian about them; they're not erotic works," he says. "The women make themselves comfortable as I work, imagining they could be relaxing at home, watching television, and I think they relate to the portraits in the same way."

Ah yes, Andres, but how do you make someone feel comfortable when most exposed? "You want to know about their personality because that will come across in the painting, so I become like a microphone, listening to what they have to say," he says. "The big difference between a photograph and painting is that a painting captures the psychological side of someone, and that's why you have to listen rather than talk too much."

Why focus on women, rather then men, Andres? "Women are fascinating because they talk about life, whereas men would just talk about sport and cars," he says.

He is naturally at ease with women. "I was brought up by mother and the women who had worked in my mother's house for 40 years and she had four sisters too," says Andres, whose father was one of the "Disappeared" victims of Argentina's Dirty War. "My family are in medicine too, so I'm also comfortable with being there to listen," he adds.

The work will be 90 per cent complete by the time Andres opens his doors for the 2017 York Open Studios on April 21 to 23 and April 29 and 30: the first chance to see his life studies en masse. Hopefully, he says, it will be the perfect showcase to encourage someone, somewhere, to host an exhibition, especially as an initial visit by York Art Gallery curators has not proved fruitful for Andres.

"It would be a shame not to have them exhibited together in York because together they form a York narrative and it wouldn't be the same if they were broken up," says Andres, whose project will have a definite second outcome, however.

"A book will be published with reproductions of the paintings and excerpts from the models’ interviews, their personal reasons for volunteering, their views on ageing, body shapes and so on," he says.

For more information on Andres Jaroslavsky's project, The Female Body Through Life, visit jaroslavsky.com/. To contact Andres about hosting an exhibition, phone him on 07913 920118.