June 08, 2003

Artist Cajoles 7,000 Into Public Nudity Stunt

A New York artist somehow convinced seven thousand otherwise law-abiding people to strip nude in public for one of his photographs, the Associated Press reports.

The mass demonstration took place in Barcelona on Sunday morning. The AP's report makes clear that Spencer Tunick, the artist in question, is a modest and unassuming figure:

"I want people to feel uncomfortable that they've demonized the body," Tunick said in an interview with The Associated Press shortly before staging his Barcelona installation. "I want them to feel uncomfortable at first and then realize it's just skin. Yes, the body can be a shape."

He called the Barcelona installation a great visual success. "I created a river of bodies like I've never made before. It was an amazing pink and tan carpet."

Okay! I'm officially creeped out. Well, that and nonplussed.

Sure, maybe Mr Tunick has reason to be snarky. It is no joke to get 7,000 people to do anything, much less convince them to take leave of their senses and parade around Barcelona without wearing clothing. But I don't see why this qualifies as a work of art, unless we can refer to public-relations stunts as such.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at June 8, 2003 11:20 PM | TrackBack