American artist Spencer Tunick’s photographic works explore and challenge our understanding of the social, political and legislative factors that surround art and the body in public spaces. In 1992 Tunick began filming and photographing nude models in public places in New York, and since then he has arranged and photographed more than 65 temporary, site-specific installations featuring more than 6,000 nude participants throughout the world.
With this accumulation of naked bodies Tunick wishes to create pictures in which the mass of bodies becomes a new form where sculpture and performance merge, transforming into something that cannot be defined or delimited by a single genre. The bodies become part of the landscape, growing abstract and challenging our notion that nudity is a private, intimate matter. For even though the participants are naked, the works present no particular focus on sexuality: rather, as Tunick himself puts it, man and woman are transposed into a “pre-everything” state of existence where nature and culture meet.
Tunick’s statements concerning his artistic intentions have not entirely protected him from political problems when staging his works. He has been arrested on no less than five occasions in New York as a direct consequence of his assemblies of nude people, and as a result he has not worked in New York for more than ten years.
Credits: Spencer Tunick