Tunick, who is famous for his massive nude group photos in public spaces, posed around 5,200 naked participants for more than an hour in a variety of positions on Monday morning – including getting them to embrace each other.
‘It was difficult to get the straight participants to embrace the gay participants and vice versa,’ Tunick said. ‘So I was very happy that that last set up finally got done and everyone came together (in a) united, friendly kiss, a loving kiss in front of this great structure.’
Nineteen-year-old student Art Rush said he was thrilled to participate. ‘I’ll never get a chance to do this again; it’s not worth being inhibited,’ Rush said. ‘It doesn’t feel sexual, it just feels tribal, a gathering of humanity.”I thought it could be a bit awkward, but it’s funny because when you’re naked and everybody else is naked, you feel like you’re dressed, because everybody looks the same,’ said Steven Anglier, who wore a wig so he could stand out in the photo.
‘It’s really a weird experience because you think there could be something sexual behind, but there’s not.’
As the sun rose, Tunick instructed participants to do a number of poses, from standing up, lying down, and even embracing cheek to cheek, for the work titled ‘Mardi Gras:The Base’.
Tunick has produced almost 100 nude installations around the world, and says his work is not about exhibitionism or eroticism but instead reveals the vulnerability of life in a rough city landscape.
But that argument has not impressed authorities at home in the United States, where Tunick has been arrested seven times. (NL- figures)
His largest installation was in Mexico on May 6, 2007, where he photographed 18,000 people In Mexico city’s Zocalo Square.