The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

NUDE ANONYMITY
all nude
Spencer Tunick is an art photographer who specializes in utilizing nudes. Not supermodel-quality nudes, but the unspectacular, average person. As part of his "Naked World" project, Tunick gathered a few hundred women into Grand Central Terminal to photograph his latest piece.

Tunick's site has lots of samples of his work, both of installations (group nudes) and individuals in public places around the globe.

I personally find the installations to be more fascinating, because of the dynamic they create. Having a big group of people naked, laid out in a pattern, dehumanizes them--not necessarily in a bad way. Somehow, the vulnerability you'd expect to see from someone stripped of their clothing disappears when that person is joined by hundreds of similarly exposed individuals. A large grouping of naked bodies turns them into anonymous objects, or building blocks in a photo setup, making for a powerful end result. The photo above is from Tunick's 1999 shoot in Basel, a very good example, I think.

I see from Tunick's bio that he was born in Middletown, New York, right down the road from Newburgh, where I was born (four years after him).