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Spencer Tunick Photographs 18,000 Nudes in Mexico City

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Thousands of Mexicans


Spencer Tunick Plans Giant Nude Photo Shoot in Mexico City - Hundreds Pose Naked

Spencer Tunick Plans Giant Nude Photo Shoot in Mexico City

 Spencer Tunick Catalogue
View an online catalogue of Spencer Tunick's biography and artwork.

The Unofficial Spencer Tunick Experience

The New York photographer Spencer Tunick recently broke his own record when he encouraged 17,000 Mexicans to take their clothes off and pose for him.

That's a lot of flesh in one place!

The volunteers posed for Tunick at the Zocalo square in Mexico City on Sunday. His previous record of 7000 nudes in Spain was broken by more than double.

Thousands of Mexicans strip for photo shoot
Not all Mexicans were impressed by the spectacle staged by Tunick, who was refused permission to hold his nude photo at the famed Teotihuacan pyramids outside the capital. "They're losing dignity as men and women," said 63-year-old Armando Pineda, leaning against the cathedral and watching the now-dressed models leave the plaza. "It's an offence against the church."

 

Here's some quotes by Spencer Tunick from a news conference that the artist gave..

* What a moment for the Mexican art scene. I think all eyes are looking south from the United Sates to Mexico City to see how a country can be free and treat the naked body as art. Not as pornography or as a crime, but with happiness and caring.
Spencer Tunick
* I just create shapes and forms with human bodies. It's an abstraction, it's a performance, it's an installation. So I don't care how many people showed up. All I know is that I filled up my space.
Spencer Tunick

Jonathan Jones of the Guardian newspaper in the UK has wrote a piece on the work of Spencer Tunick, called "The naked truth about Tunick"..

 

I think art critics just like to provoke people from time to time. Like, when they are feeling unloved or people are not noticing them as much as they think they should be, they just attack an artist that they know will provoke responses.. which gives the art critic the attention (or the importance) that they crave.

 

male and female volunteers of different ages stood and saluted, lay down on the ground, crouched in the fetal position and otherwise posed for Tunick’s lens in Mexico City’s Zocalo Square, the city’s massive central plaza also known as Plaza de la Constitucion.

“What a moment for the Mexican art scene!” Tunick said at a news conference (Dario Lopez-Mills/Associated Press). “I think all eyes are looking south from the United States to Mexico City to see how a country can be free and treat the naked body as art. Not as pornography or as a crime, but with happiness and caring.”

In the past, the U.S. photographer faced arrest — even at home in New York — for his photo shoots, in which he snaps images of nude volunteers in public. However, nudity is more widely accepted in Mexico, where protestors sometimes attend demonstrations nude or clad only in underwear.

The turnout for Sunday’s photo shoot far surpassed Tunick’s previous record, when about 7,000 people showed up to pose for him in Barcelona.

This latest photo shoot was about five years in the making, with Mexican officials first turning down the photographer’s request to set the shoot at the Teotihuacan pyramids outside the capital.

 

Tunick, who has raised eyebrows by staging mass nude photo shoots in cities from Dusseldorf, Germany, to Caracas, smashed his previous record of 7,000 volunteers set in 2003 in Barcelona, Spain.

Directing with a megaphone, Tunick shot a series of pictures with his Mexican models simultaneously raising their arms, then lying on their backs in the square as well as another scene on a side street with volunteers arranged in the shape of an arrow.

Hundreds of police kept nosy onlookers away during the nippy early-morning shoot, and a no-fly zone was declared above the plaza.

One of the world's biggest and most imposing squares, the Zocalo is framed by a cathedral, city hall and the National Palace official seat of government, which is adorned with murals by Diego Rivera.

A ruined temple next to it was once the center of the Aztec civilization and was used for worship and human sacrifice. Spanish conquistadors used bricks from the temple to help build their own capital.

Some participants said the massive turnout showed that Mexicans, at least in the capital, were becoming less prudish.

Mexicans are not used to showing skin. Most men wear shorts only while on vacation, and women tend not to put on miniskirts because of unwanted whistles and stares.

"This event proves that really we're not such a conservative society anymore. We're freeing ourselves of taboos," said Fabiola Herrera, a 30-year-old university professor who volunteered to strip, along with her boyfriend.

The capital of the world's second-biggest Catholic nation, where tough-guy masculinity and family loyalty are held dear, has recently challenged some important traditions.

Last month, Mexico City legislators legalized abortion in defiance of criticism from church officials.

Also, gay couples are getting hitched in civil ceremonies thanks to recently passed laws in the capital, and lawmakers plan to debate whether to legalize euthanasia.

Not all Mexicans were impressed by the spectacle staged by Tunick, who was refused permission to hold his nude photo at the famed Teotihuacan pyramids outside the capital.

"They're losing dignity as men and women," said 63-year-old Armando Pineda, leaning against the cathedral and watching the now-dressed models leave the plaza. "It's an offense against the church."

 

In 1992 Spencer Tunick started out documenting live nudes in public locations in New York through video and photographs. His early works from this period focus more on a single nude individual to small groups of nudes that are much more intimate images than the massive "installations" for which he's now known.

By 1994 Spencer Tunick had organized and photographed over 65 installations in the United States and abroad. Today, Tunick has taken his celebration of the nude form international and has taken photos in cities that include Bruges, Buenos Aires, Buffalo, London, Lyon, Melbourne, Montreal, San Sebastián, São Paulo, Caracas, Newcastle/Gateshead, Vienna, Düsseldorf and Santiago.

According to the photographer, his art isn’t just "a bunch of naked bodies, but a abstract narrative." "The Mexico City 'installation' will be a coaction with thousands of young, open-minded Mexican citizens... a beautiful collaboration with the body that transcends pornography," he said.

Mexico City residents are no strangers to public nudity. Protesters often strip down to their underwear or take off all their clothes to draw attention to their cause.

Tunick has spent three years planning the Mexico City project, and has 3,700 participants registered so far. He invites others to sign up through his website, spencertunickmexico.unam.mex.


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