Artist creates exhibition of naked paintings after asking women to ‘send nudes’
The misleading headline seems to suggest a nefarious scheme to collect nude pictures. But it’s not. The article is about professional artist Sophie Tea, whose conventional paintings on canvas may be seen on her Instagram page. But Sophie wanted to take things a step further. The article quotes her saying “I’ve always wanted to paint women” – and it’s meant literally: to paint on bodies in the same style as she paints on canvas. So she asked for volunteers – and received pictures from more than 1000 volunteers. Those she selected were duly painted and participated in a live exhibition (called Send Nudes) in which “Naked volunteers proudly walked the pink carpet after Sophie had painted them in colourful and abstract brush strokes.” Sophie’s objective? “to create work that was really meaningful” and to help “promote body confidence in women”.
Bodypainting, which can be done indoors, should be a popular activity for naturists during the colder months of the year. In the previous collection of articles there was one on the topic, and there’ll probably be more to come in the next few months. There are, already, two in this collection. The second of those spotlights the work of well-known bodypainter Andy Golub and his Human Connection Arts organization. Andy, who’s based in the New York City area, normally works outdoors, and in public. But he’s also active during the winter, and has scheduled work ongoing through January. It will involve “human canvas painting”. Anyone interested in participating may submit an application here.
Spencer Tunick, another artist who does unconventional work using naked bodies, is still finding new ideas after 25 years of making art out of “installations” of large numbers of naked people. (See the article on Tunick in the last collection.) He also enjoys working in Austalia (especially in the southern hemisphere’s summer). Two of his largest installations were in Melbourne and Sydney (4500 and 5000 naked people, respectively). According to the present article, he believes Australians have a “real heartfelt understanding of how important the body is in art”. That they deserve praise “for being body positive”. And that “Australians are much more body positive and more open than [in] most other countries.” The last is probably true in comparison with the U. S. Even so, Australia’s laws aren’t quite so liberal as New Zealand’s, where there are generally no specific laws against nudity on the beaches. In the state of Queensland, for example, where Tunick’s latest installation was photographed, there’s well-known intolerance of nudity on the beaches.
More about this event: Spencer Tunick Invites Australians to Bare All on Whitsunday Island
Auckland nudists encourage families to join them at pre-Christmas beach event
That January beach event wasn’t even the first one this season in NZ. There was already one just before Christmas, promoted by an Auckland naturist group. It was called “Barely Three Days Before Christmas”. And it wasn’t the only one – there was another further south on the same day: “If you are down south we will again be celebrating the summer solstice with a nude swim at St Kilda beach Dunedin. 6pm December 22,” according to one person quoted in the article. Actually, why use the solstice to have a special day for a summer skinny-dip in New Zealand? Merely a few extra minutes of sunlight? The same thing must happen every day in the summer there. Unfortunately, the event wasn’t completely without incident. A park ranger did stop to question what was going on, but ultimately did not try to stop it.
Here’s another example of an appropriate use of nudity to draw attention and support to a worthy cause. The backstory is that a naturist, Philip Baker, who was diagnosed with heart disease over 30 years ago but was eventually treated successfully for it, decided to become an active fundraiser for the British Heart Foundation to support research into heart disease. Philip stated that he’s “been a lifelong naturist quietly enjoying my garden in the nude and taking the odd Mediterranean holiday ‘au naturelle’.” What is hoped to be an annual event will be held on the summer solstice (in England) this June. Participants will pay an entry fee of £20 and pledge to raise an additional £100 for the BHF. In return, they’ll be entitled to take either a 2km or 5km walk – naked – (at night) through a very scenic local park. Even spectators are welcome (for a £10 fee). Organizers are hoping for as many as 500 participants.
More about this: 500 people could walk naked in park so people don’t have a stroke; You can walk through Painshill Park naked but only for one night
This is from the Bold & Naked yoga studio in New York City, but it offers good advice that’s not limited to yoga practice. Nudity’s not even mentioned explicitly. However, this is the very first recommendation: “The first step to being at peace with yourself is to accept yourself.” And the fifth is: “accept yourself with all the flaws and weaknesses you may have.” Clearly, this is a major worry people have that prevents them from wholeheartedly embracing social nudity, because of how they assume their body, no matter what it’s actually like, inevitably has flaws and isn’t “good enough”. Naturists know that worry can be overcome by accepting one’s body (which doesn’t preclude taking steps, such as yoga exercise, to improve what’s amenable to being improved). The other recommendations are also very appropriate.
This production was previously mentioned here back in May. You can read that account for more about the play. But it’s a good sign that it’s being done again – on a repeating basis, in fact, on the first Saturday of every month (but not stated for how long). It’s especially encouraging, since the play is based on Barely Proper, by Tom Cushing, which was written in 1931, but not performed on Broadway (in a revised version) until 1970 (to unfavorable reviews). In addition, the audience is required to be naked too. That shouldn’t be necessary, but it may keep out some voyeurs, and perhaps even induce audience members to experiment more with social nudity themselves. And the production last June was favorably received. According to the article that included “racking up rave reviews and winning the Producers Encore! Award along with a nomination for ‘Best Immersive Show’.”