body art at Times Square

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.

naturist 0000 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

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 😉

naturist 0001 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

I couldn’t wait to join the fun and get painted. What colours would I get?

paints 0007 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

Finally, it was my turn, and Andy brought me to his assistants – Gypsy Twins, as they called themselves.

naturist 0002 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

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 😀

naturist 0003 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

I don’t think I’ve ever been that shiny!

naturist 0004 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

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.

naturist 0005 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

After that, the master himself was about to paint me.

naturist 0008 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

It took him a moment to get an idea,

naturist 0009 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

and shortly, a black pattern was emerging on my chest.

naturist 0010 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

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.

naturist 0011 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

After we were done with painting, it was the time for photo shoots.

naturist 0006 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

Needless to say, most of the audience loved it, someone provided his skateboard as a stage for one of our models.

naturist 0015 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

I’m not generally into posing, but the fellow model Sky got me inspired.

naturist handstand 0018 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

When else could I do a naked handstand at Times Square? I didn’t want to miss that opportunity!

naturist 0012 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

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?

naturist 0013 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

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.

naturist 0014 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

And could there be any better place for that than Times Square?

naturist 0016 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

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.)

naturist 0017 body paint art, Times Square, New York, NY, USA

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!

Vimeo censored our videos

This website is barely half a year old in its reincarnation on WordPress and videos powered by Vimeo, and we’ve got the first blow from the latter. All of a sudden, they removed Active Naturists account entirely for ‘ Uploading videos that contain pornography or sexually explicit material’, even though their guidelines say ‘Non-sexual nudity is allowed’.

If you have a moment, write to Vimeo staff and let them know you think it was an error and you miss our vids! You can do so via their email or, if you have an account on Vimeo, through their website.

Here is also our email for reference:

Dear Vimeo Staff,

We do believe it was an erroneous decision to remove our account for ‘uploading… pornography or sexually explicit material’. We find it very sad and unfortunate if you consider any of our videos pornographic and would like to get some explanation from you.
Your guidelines say ‘You may not upload sexually explicit material or pornography. Non-sexual nudity is allowed.’ We are running a blog about naturism, a lifestyle that encourages people to feel comfortable in their natural state, without clothes. In our blog, we particularly emphasized benefits of this attitude in numerous activities including sports, outdoors, dancing… For this reasons, we’ve uploaded a number of videos with us and our friends, as well as several videos from other online sources, where people were performing such various activities as swimming, gymnastics, badminton, rugby, dancing… but we cannot recall having any videos of us or anyone else involved in anything that could be classified as pornographic, even remotely. Of course, since you have erased our account completely, we cannot verify that information and point out to each and every video, but to the best of our knowledge, not only was there no video of people engaging in sexual activities, but there was no one kissing or even hugging. In this respect, we are honestly baffled as to what exactly you consider pornographic.

Your hasty decision to take down all our videos comes even more as a surprise (needless to say, unpleasant), because Vimeo actively promoted anti-SOPA and -PIPA campaigns. But in fact it seems that you act exactly how we feared internet censorship would work: without too much consideration, without clear definitions as to what is allowed and what is not, in other words very subjective and biased. Such actions seem to us especially inappropriate when done without any warning or notice.

Please reconsider your decision, as well as the ways you communicate with your users. My website aims at creating a positive body image and stimulating people to do more sports and outdoor activities, and in the same time speaks for one of the basic and simple human rights that is somehow ignored in mass media – the right to be yourself just the way you are, in your natural state, without necessity to cover yourself in clothes imposed by societal rules. Our videos were essential for the website, and Vimeo appeared to us like a perfect platform for hosting such videos. We hope it is still the case.

Best regards,

Active Naturists
http://activenaturists.net