by Scott Lynch in onfullscreen
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"All Bodies Are Works of Art" said the banner at the front of the modest, three-block march some 100 fully naked, fully painted people embarked upon yesterday afternoon, walking from Dag Hammarskjold Plaza to an NYPD holding pen () across from the United Nations.
The occasion was , organized by Andy Golub and Young Naturists America, and, after spending a couple of hours watching dozens of artists do incredible things to these gloriously nude "canvases", who, as a whole, boasted an extraordinary range of body types, I'd have to say the banner is correct.
Not that every work of bodypainting here was a great piece of art, though most were pretty amazing. It's just that after a while you don't see, and think about, these nude physical people in the way that you're used to—as sexy, say, or imperfect, or unappealing, or sensational. Suddenly they all look good, or at least they all look different, but in different ways than before, and it made me wish that I and everyone else could appreciate and instantly see the beauty in all bodies as a matter of course.
Anyway, the scene at Dag Hammarskjod Plaza was pretty wild, with loads of creative energy from the artists—there were apparently 75 painters on hand—and an infectious sense of liberation, and exhilaration, from the models. Photographers, supporters, art fans, and straight gawkers formed a thick crowd all up and down the taped-off perimeter of the painting area, with only a light presence by the NYPD until it was time to parade, when they bolstered the ranks significantly and employed familiar march-control tactics. It seemed like overkill, but with President Obama at the UN right at that moment, they probably had no choice.
Related: in Times Square
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