Recap of the First Ever NYC Body Painting Day 2014
Review of our New York City Body Painting Day
This past Saturday, over 40 nude models and 30 artists gathered in Columbus Circle for Andy Golub’s most epic event yet… NYC Body Painting Day!
We were honored to collaborate with Andy and artist Craig Tracy for the biggest outdoor naked body painting event NYC has ever seen.
Jordan and I arrived a little before noon at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park. Some drizzly rain had just started, but it cleared up by the time the body painting began. Most of the artists were arriving and picking their models right there on-site.
This was a little nerve-wracking for some, but everyone was pretty excited. The artists got started as soon as they had a model and then we corralled everyone together into a taped-off area.
I was painted by a friend, April, and my mom was right next to me getting painted by artist John Paul O’Grodnick. We were surrounded by curious on-lookers and photographers.
I had painted a banner for the event which was laid out on the ground within our painting area. It read, “All Bodies Are Good Bodies” to show the message of body acceptance.
All around this sign we had models of all shapes, sizes, races, ages and genders. All beautiful bodies!
It was a tight area, but most people respected the space and observed from a few feet away. From my vantage point I was able to watch a few other artists at work.
It was awesome to watch the array of paintings being made by so many different artists. At the same time we were unified as they all used the same 5 colors of Kryolan body paint and the theme of the day was “faces.”
Then around 5pm, just as all the artwork was completed, it started to rain again! Luckily it was a light drizzle and didn’t last long. Some had umbrellas and we also crowded together under the registration tent. Models took some fun photos with the umbrellas.
Two Boots Pizza soon arrived to provide a quick dinner for artists and models. (I had slices of their vegan pizza and I have to say it was pretty good!)
After some group photos in the park, it was time to march down to Times Square! This part was a bit hectic as we were such a large group trying to stay together.
We paused for just a minute or two at a time to take photos. Models swarmed around statues, jumped onto Citi Bikes and climbed up onto scaffolding for photo ops.
Eventually we made it to the bleachers in Times Square for some group photos among the tourists. The crowds were crazy there – as they always are! Models had a little time to do more photos in the area before we all headed for another exciting activity—the double decker bus ride!
Models, artists and few photographers boarded the double decker tour bus on 7th avenue at 48th street. The models went to the upper level to be seen by and interact with the crowd below.
Then we rode down 7th avenue toward Union Square. It was an exhilarating ride! Everyone had a great time waving and cheering to the people below.
Both sides of the bus were decorated with a long NYC Body Painting Day event banner so people could see why there were 40+ naked painted people on top of the bus.
Most of us were standing up, but we had to periodically sit down and yell “LIGHT” to avoid being whacked by an overhead traffic light. We also had to duck under some trees along the way.
Here’s a video of models on top of the bus:
It was fun to watch the reactions of pedestrians. I saw people break out into big smiles upon seeing us. Many smiled, waved and once in a while someone would start dancing for us.
The models loved interacting with the crowd below and chanted at them – “Love Your Body!”, “Free the Nipple!” and “Take it off!” Some guys complied along the way and lifted their shirts. One dude on a balcony dropped his pants and then quickly ran inside!
The bus ride ended at Jerry’s International Palette Shop for Andy’s art opening. His works were displayed on the walls as well as on the models. We drank some wine, socialized and chilled out for a bit.
Then it was time to go back up to Times Square for the after-party! We boarded the bus again for a nighttime ride and got to Times Scare around 10pm.
It was all us models, artists, photographers and friends. A few artists started body painting some unpainted people. Our DJ friend was playing music and some of the models still had enough energy to dance around.
Andy pinned the bus banner up in the hallway and a bunch of artists and models signed it.
So ended an amazing day of artistic expression, friendship and body acceptance!
Both Jordan and I would like to thank everyone for taking part in the first ever NYC Body Painting Day
To the body painters who participated in NYC Body Painting Day – Your art was breathtaking! As beautiful as the artistic impact was you were all more than just artists. With every line that you drew, you were helping to change the minds of the thousands of people who were there to witness it. Every line that you drew helped to illustrate the true beauty of the person you were painting.
To the NYC Body Painting Day models – Jordan and I were so proud and inspired by you wonderful, beautiful people. You put yourselves, your bodies and hearts out there to spread the message of acceptance and body love. We know for a fact that what you did has been inspirational to many young people who are struggling with their own insecurities and personal demons.
To Craig Tracy – You are an iconic figure in the body art world and it could never have happened without all the hard work and money that you invested into this event. We are eternally grateful to you and we hope that the event was all you dreamt it would be and more!
And last but surely not least – Andy Golub. We have grown pretty close over the past couple of years and for both Jordan and I, you are more than an artist and more than a friend. We feel privileged to know you and truly love and support what you do and who you are.
Your work is not just art; you are a catalyst for change and represent the worldviews we so desperately need. Your message of love and acceptance is heard loud and clear (without the megaphone!) and you have already opened the eyes and hearts of so many people from every corner of the world.
We know how difficult society can be and no matter how hard they hit, you keep true to what you believe in – the mark of a true “evolutionary.”
In closing we simply want you all to know that we love you and feel so humbled by the moral stature you exhibited. Jordan spoke to a lot of people and we know that you have already changed a few people’s perception of beauty.
Your courage has already given people the ability to see and accept themselves for who they truly are. That, in and of itself, is an accomplishment and something you can all be proud of.
This review of NYC Body Painting Day was published by – Young Naturists America – YNA