YNA Gets Naked For Body Painting by Andy Golub

| August 14, 2013 | 10 Comments

Getting Naked in NYC & Body Painting with Andy Golub

Getting Some Naked Body Painting In Times Square

On a sunny Wednesday afternoon in late July, a group of nudies including myself gathered in Manhattan. We prepared to get naked for one of the few times public nudity is allowed in NYC: for a live art exhibition!

We, YNA, had partnered up with Andy Golub for a group body painting session at the outer edges of Times Square, 53rd and Broadway. Ten people participated, including a guy who volunteered from the crowd.

Overall the day went very well, but not without its fair share of trouble from city officials, police officers and security guards. First some people came over claiming the sidewalk we were on was their property (it wasn’t), so Andy had to deal with them. Then we had some plain-clothes police officers come over, yelling and demanding that I put my clothes on.

I just kind of stared and continued to get painted. After confirming that they were actually officers, Andy retrieved some documents he carries with him, for situations just like this. They calmed down and started reading a letter which explains that nudity is totally legal in NYC if it’s part of an exhibition or show.

This letter also states that he has express permission from NYPD to do his body painting. They said “okay” and left us alone. This is not a one-time occurrence for Andy, who gets bothered and harassed all the time while doing his live body paintings, despite the fact that he has permission and that it’s 100% legal.

Body Painting with YNA by Andy Golub

Body Painting with YNA by Andy Golub, photo by Dave Hoffman

There was a crowd of onlookers at all times, but in this area, it was much tamer than when I got body painted in the middle of Times Square. People honed in a little too closely at times, but it was small enough to control.

We took off our tops to start, Andy painted, and then we proceeded to take off the rest. It’s the first summer that Andy has painting naked people in the daytime.

He previously had an agreement with the city to only paint models in g-strings until sunset. With a new lawyer, they managed to get rid of this unjust deal, and now he can paint naked people at any time of day (which was always legal).

Once we were all painted, we took a slow walk down to the busier part of Times Square, weaving through the swarms of people. We stopped for a few photo ops, posing together in front of a parking garage, a Starbucks window, and other spots. The coffee shop patrons looked happy to see us.

The reactions were mostly positive. I thought it was awesome that we had such a diverse group of models – fat, skinny, young, old, of different shapes, sizes and ethnicities. Naked (or nearly-naked) people in the media all basically represent one look, one race, one body type. We need more diversity like this!

I asked the models themselves for comments about the whole experience, and here’s what they had to say:

“This was the creation of body art [while] talking with, laughing with, posing with, just having fun with the crowd. I’ve been a performer for a long time, and this was probably the most delighted and appreciative audience I’ve ever had. It was indescribably fun. I would do it again in a heart-beat.” –Mr. Sandy

“As you may know from my blog, I feel very comfortable naked and I have been to numerous events that involved full body painting, but doing it at Times Square brings this experience to the next level. It took some time to get used to be in the center of attention of dozens of people, but the general atmosphere of fun and encouragement made it easy to enjoy it! Obviously, many people were curious about what was happening, and you could see all kinds of reactions but almost all were positive.

Many people were surprised to find out it was totally legal. It was funny to hear that even when people were baffled at first, they immediately approved the event as soon as they heard the magic word ‘art’ – why are we so attached to labels? Luckily, some people noticed another important aspect of this body art event – the models were of different ages and body complexions, which certainly promoted body acceptance; and could there be any better place for that than Times Square? ” –Kirill

However, not all the reactions were positive. Not long after the body painting, our good friend Maria received an anonymous letter. It was an appalling attack on her size and appearance. It read:

“Now that the dust of the body painting high you were in is over its time someone told you the truth. Nobody said you were beautiful or that you look great because you didn’t. As a matter fact most people who saw your photos looked away in disgust. You paraded yourself as a nudist/model for the entire world to see; in reality, you were a sideshow act right out of a 19th century carnival freak show.

I can hear it now “Step right up ladies and gentlemen, for a mere dime you can see the fat lady get naked.” You are a 50-year-old woman in a 50-year-old body. Your arms are short, your hands are tiny and you looked liked a scared rabbit in most of the photos. Your breasts sag like torpedoes. Were it not for the piercings I would not have known where they stopped and where your stomach started. For heaven’s sake start behaving like you have some sense.

The artist must have been mortified when he saw you. Did he call in an emergency order of extra paint? I am sure he needed it after getting through with you. It was kind of him to paint vertical stripes as it gave you a leaner look (just not enough). The other participants were painted with clean lines, lots of details.

His paint strokes on your body were wide and looked rushed. He wanted you away from him and fast. You mentioned there were professional photographers. Thank goodness, they were at least able to hide you in the crowd. You were the token fat chick, tolerated. The joke that made everyone else look great and have a great laugh.”

It’s infuriating to read something like this. But we agree with Maria when she says the best response is education and leading by example. We will continue to advocate for acceptance and speak out against discrimination, hate and fat shaming. Here is Maria’s response and firsthand account of the experience:

“There are times when we struggle with decisions. I am no exception. However, I believe that every choice I have made has afforded me experiences that are my stepping-stones to the next adventure. Each adventure holds clues to what will come.

On that day (July 31st.), I stood on the corner of 53rd and Broadway proudly sharing a space with no less than four generations of like-minded people and amongst a sea of on lookers from all walks of life (how cliché of me).

Next to me stood my friend, a man strong and completely grounded in his convictions. He was genuinely encouraging and excited for me, knowing this was a dream come true.

Piece by piece I shed an article of clothing exposing my body for the world to see. The artist, Andy Golub, and I continually exchanged our energies; his artistic creativity for my courage to continue.

The articles of clothing shed were the trappings of everyday life that had forced its way into my psyche and lingered for years. I could hardly contain myself. In place of the clothing, fantastic colors appeared.

The green, purple and yellow all purposefully layered on my skin. As it dried, it became a sturdy outer layer forming a shield yet it remained soft, flexible. A little later in the day he (Andy) noticed me standing next to him watching as he painted another model.

Was it another exchange of energy? Did he sense my trepidation? Not a word uttered. No warning or explanation followed. He stopped, drew his brush away from the live canvas in front of him and he faced me.

Trusting his movement, I did not flinch. Within seconds, he wielded that brush and gently stroked my face with it. It was the second of the three phases of my transformation that day.

Third was choreographed to some musical score imbedded in his brain, he would yell next, a model would stand still in front while he brought to life his creations. We were anxious and impatient. My turn was coming up.

‘NEXT,’ he yelled, and there I stood. I was transfixed, my gaze stoic, proud. My suit of armor was completed. Embellished with fierce the markings of a strong woman ready for battle. Grateful, more than a week later that one size does not fit all.”

Photo gallery below!

Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub with Young Naturists America Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub with YNA Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub Nude Body Painting by Andy Golub with Young Naturists America Nude Body Painting by Andy Golub with Young Naturists America Nude Body Painting by Andy Golub with Young Naturists America Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub Reaction shot Photo by Arthur Eisenberg Felicity and Maria at the Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub with Young Naturists America Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub Photo by Arthur Eisenberg Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub Photo by Arthur Eisenberg Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub Photo by Arthur Eisenberg Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub Photo by Arthur Eisenberg Naked Body Painted Group by Andy Golub with YNA Photo by Arthur Eisenberg Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub Photo by Arthur Eisenberg Nude Body Painted Group by Andy Golub with YNA Photo by Arthur Eisenberg Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub Photo by Arthur Eisenberg Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub with Young Naturists America Nude Body Painting by Andy Golub Photo by Arthur Eisenberg Nude Body Painting by Andy Golub Photo by Arthur Eisenberg Nude Body Painting by Andy Golub Photo by Arthur Eisenberg Nude Body Painting by Andy Golub Photo by Arthur Eisenberg Nude Body Painting by Andy Golub Photo by Arthur Eisenberg Naked Body Painting Art by Andy Golub and YNA Photo by Arthur Eisenberg Nude Body Painting by Andy Golub with Young Naturists America Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub with Young Naturists America Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub Photo by Prabir Mitra Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub Photo by Chris Taylor Body Painting Nude Model by Andy Golub with YNA Photo by Arthur Eisenberg
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Felicity and Maria at the Naked Body Painting by Andy Golub with Young Naturists America

YNA and Andy got a lot of press. Here is David Letterman’s “Top 10 Things Overheard at the Naked Body Painting on Broadway,” plus an interview with Telemundo (try closed captions if you don’t speak Espagnol).

**BTW, Andy will be joining us at Goodland this weekend to do some more body painting with us! Also, if you would like to get body painted naked in NYC, we will be doing it again on Tuesday, August 27th! Starting late morning into the afternoon. Email us to sign up – youngnaturists[at]gmail.com

This post about the NYC Group Naked Body Painting event with Andy Golub was published by – Young Naturists and Nudists America

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Category: Felicity's Nudist Blog, Naked Body Painting, Social Nudity Blogs

About the Author ()

Author of Felicity's Blog. Co-founder of Young Naturists America. 3rd-generation nudie. Avid reader. Feminist. 70% vegan, 30% vegetarian. When I'm not busy eating, I'm writing about naturism, censorship, topfree equality, body image and other fun topics. I like feedback, so plz leave a comment when you've got something to say!