US is often portrayed as a pretty uptight nation, but luckily there are people who challenge this view. One of them is the artist Andy Golub. He creates body art at landmark locations of New York City. Body painting in this case not only serves as an art act but also promotes body acceptance, i.e. it helps people to see human body as something normal and nothing to be ashamed of (as oddly, as it sounds – how come that we actually need that?). As you may know from my blog, I feel very comfortable naked, and I have been to numerous events that involved full body painting, but doing it at Times Square brings it to the next level.
When I arrived there, Andy Golub and his team had already been painting several people for a couple of hours… surrounded by dozens of onlookers. I guess for all models it took some time to get used to be in the centre of attention, but the general atmosphere of fun and encouragement made it easy to enjoy it! This is definitely a good exercise for your confidence 😉
I couldn’t wait to join the fun and get painted. What colours would I get?
Finally, it was my turn, and Andy brought me to his assistants – Gypsy Twins, as they called themselves.
Andy gave them an idea as to how he envisioned me painted, and there I was getting covered in gold. First, I kept my shorts on, to make the transition less ‘shocking’ to the audience, but not for too long 😀
I don’t think I’ve ever been that shiny!
Then, it was time for face. It was quite contrasting to the rest of the body, but regardless, it felt almost hypnotic to get my face painted by both twins simultaneously.
After that, the master himself was about to paint me.
It took him a moment to get an idea,
and shortly, a black pattern was emerging on my chest.
All this time, I and the rest of the models were constantly being photographed by the crowd and Andy Golub’s crew. Most of the photos in this blogpost are courtesy of Arthur.
After we were done with painting, it was the time for photo shoots.
Needless to say, most of the audience loved it, someone provided his skateboard as a stage for one of our models.
I’m not generally into posing, but the fellow model Sky got me inspired.
When else could I do a naked handstand at Times Square? I didn’t want to miss that opportunity!
Obviously, many people were curious about what was happening, and you could see all kinds of reactions but almost all were positive. Many people were surprised to find out it was totally legal. It was funny to hear that even when people were baffled at first, they immediately approved the event as soon as they heard the magic word ‘art’ – why are we so attached to labels?
Luckily, some people noticed another important aspect of this body art event – the models were of different ages and body complexions, which certainly promoted body acceptance.
And could there be any better place for that than Times Square?
The Statue of Liberty obviously approved that! Would there be liberty without nudity, and would there be art without nudes? (I know, someone else already said that.)
Thus, despite the ban on clothes-free recreation at some Fire Island beaches this year and nudity ban in San Francisco, success of the World Naked Bike Ride in NYC this year, and now body art performances in landmark locations in Manhattan by Andy Golub give us hope!
PS Andy is planning more similar acts, so keep your eyes open!
21 thoughts on “body art at Times Square”
So inspirational – glad that such an event is now legal there!
I forgot to add this pretty good article from NBC that was inspired by this body art event:
For Immediate Release
Cutting Edge Artist to Paint a Sea of Nude Models in Times Square
New York, NY, August 26, 2013
In an unprecedented event, twenty-five nude people of all shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicities will volunteer to be bodypainted by artist provocateur Andy Golub on Tuesday, August 27.
This pageantry of people will be a historic day for New York City public art and a celebration of body acceptance and freedom of artistic expression.
VIDEO: 10 Painted Models
In 2011, Golub was arrested for bodypainting nude models in public. Charges were dropped under a nighttime only restriction. With the help of the NYCLU, this restriction was recently removed. Golub is now free to paint fully nude models, male and female in the public streets of New York City at any time of day.
For more information on this event or on Golub’s new book, “Only in New York”
contact Andy Golub at firstname.lastname@example.org or 845-480-3330
photo: Arthur Eisenberg
What: Cutting Edge Artist to Paint a Sea of Models
When: Tuesday, August 27, 2:00-6:00PM
Where: Broadway between 47-48 Streets, NYC
Contact: For interview and photo opportunities, please contact Andy Golub at email@example.com or 845-480-3330
Dude , you really have balls . I can’t really get my head around the notion that nude / art are acceptable parameters but outside of that not so much . I like the nudes that Lucien Freud painted that don’t elevate the body to perfect proportions but are still “realistic ” . Using the body as a canvas like that makes me think of the primitive art of the Africans and Indians . and what it might mean . Anyway , thank you for posting the pictures they’re really beautiful .
Truly an amazing event…..with that handstand you must of felt ‘on top of the world’!!
that’s a nice way to put it! 😉
Incredible photos and I wish you had told us in advance. I would have loved to have been there. How did you get home? Tell me you didn’t take the subway.
hah, good question! no, I didn’t take subway. Actually, in the last two years, I have hardly used subway at all – I get around by bike everywhere in NYC
Finally body freedom in Manhattan!
it’s just the beginning
Hi Loved the Times Square piece!
Thanks for all the posts.
Next Sunday, the 25 – I’ll be going to Philadelphia for the Naked Bike Ride – which Has being great this past 3 years!
Are you going?
Sent from my iPhone
yes, I am also going with a couple of friends. we’re currently deciding on how to get there from NYC. See you there!
Reblogged this on home clothes free and commented:
Great report of this body positive event in the Big Apple
Hi All what a great event, we wish we were there, Maria should ignore the Rude letter writers, she looks like a very nice lady, We still don’t get the problem the world has with the human body??
Keep up the Great work, Hope to see you in OZ, sometime soon.
Cheers Royce & Lars
Have you ever been to Provincetown, Cape Cod, Martha Vineyard? In Massachusetts? I’m going this weekend and looking for some natural activities.
You are quote possibly the coolest person in the world
see an article by Young Naturists America about this event: http://nudistnaturistamerica.org/body-painting-andy-golub-yna
They cite a fat-shaming letter that one of the models received, unfortunately