If you happened to stroll by Union Square in New York City on Sunday, you might have been greeted by an incredible sight – people posing naked, their bodies covered in decorative designs and stars painted in bright colours.
That’s how a group of 26 artists and 45 models celebrated the eighth annual NYC Bodypainting Day, using the human body as their canvas to promote messages like body positivity.
Andy Golub, the event’s main organiser said that the idea of the event was really to promote free expression and acceptance of all people, their ideas as artists and also their bodies.
A decade ago, the models and artists probably would have been arrested for what they did, and after Golub and his two models were arrested by cops in Times Square ten years ago, both models sued the City, saying nudity was allowed as part of art.
One of those models got a $15,000 settlement while Andy Golub had his charges dismissed, on the condition he only painted after nightfall.
In 2013, New York Civil Liberties Union helped Andy Golub eliminate such constraints with the NYPD forced to acknowledge that full nudity was legal in public for art.
It was also a way to mark New York City rising from the deadly coronavirus pandemic after more than a year of restrictions that forced the city that never sleeps to an almost complete standstill.
Rocket Osborne, a New York City-based architect said that it was important to show that New York City was getting better and that this was a time of resilience.
Models stood under canopies set up in the bustling square as artists painted on them. Others posed on stages set up for the event to showcase the finished artwork as passersby paused to snap a photo or a video.
A small crowd of a couple of hundred people gathered to watch the event in the summer heat that, fortunately for the organisers, was not as intense as to melt the paint.
Queens resident and sculptor Gregory Valentine said that he thought it was beautiful, the fact that people can get out there and be what they’re supposed to be.
Some people might not agree though and might say, are they, models or exhibitionists? At least it will be fun to wash off later, but honestly, there are some people out there that are so repressed and are offended by this display, it makes me wonder how they reproduce.
Of course, there are so many exhibitionists out there in the world in the name of art especially. Look at Vincent van Gogh, although he didn’t cut off his ear for attention, he got loads of it, unwittingly of course. But who even worries what other people do, there are more problems in the world than to be worrying about models cavorting around covered in paint.
And why are the women’s nipples blurred out? They’re only the things your mother milked you with! Of course, men find them fascinating, as I’m sure women do as well.
It was a fine example of bodily art, boobs, buttocks and genitalia, but with the painted art added, it made it look a little like a satanic ritual.
And why is it that women’s nipples are very rude and must be blotted out, yet men’s nipples are wholesome and can be published? That seems pretty sexist to me.
Of course, the purpose of the event is to promote free expression and acceptance of all people, their ideas as artists and also their bodies.