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The Naked Art of Spencer Tunick

Photographer and artist Spencer Tunick is making a living out of photographing public nudity. His art involves organising thousands of naked volunteers, often into complicated shapes (or "installations"), so he can take photographs. These events occur in major cities, often early in the morning before too many people are around. A few weeks beforehand he puts the world out that he needs volunteers to get naked and lie around for a few hours. The series is called "Naked Pavement." He has been arrested numerous times, mostly in New York City.

Each Naked Pavement installation seems to be bigger than the last. In 2001 in Melbourne Australia he had 4000 people line up along the Yarra river. And in Spain 7000 people lay naked on the streets of Barcelona in June 2003. The scale of his work can be breathtaking.

Spencer has also done photographs of single nudes, often in dramatic circumstances. His website features a photo of a naked man from Buenos Aires standing in front of revolutionary graffiti, a naked woman standing next to a glacier, and a gaunt nude man on a stairway in Italy.

Spencer says his displays of public nudity aren't about sex at all, and that when so many naked figures are gathered together they become abstractions "that challenge or preconfigure one's views of nudity and privacy".

Over the past couple of years his nude events have become incredibly popular, with more and more volunteers turning up each time. For them it's an exercise in self-exploration (and also a physical trial: often the temperatures are close to freezing). Many have never been publicly nude before, so getting undressed and being surround by thousands of other naked people is one they won't easily forget.

His website allows visitors to sign up to be photographed, and gives details of his next major nude installation.

News Articles and Photos

Bottoms up as Barcelona celebrates record-breaking photo - The Guardian

Spencer Tunick in Spain - photos, The Age

2500 Canadians strip for 'Naked Pavement' photo - Ananova

Spencer Tunick - review and photo, SMH

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