Spencer Tunick

Lecture with Slides and Video Projections by the World-Renowned Artist

Spencer Tunick’s artwork has challenged humankind’s relationship with its environment for more than 20 years. He has staged more than 100 large-scale body landscapes around the world in the heart of urban or natural settings, each time gathering hundreds or thousands of volunteer nude participants.

At each installation Tunick combines elements of performance art, sculpture and land art.  He documents the live event to create limited edition photographs and video. The individuals participating become the medium and temporary performance artists in their own right. This collaboration of making artwork with the general public is very rare in the art world and continues to open up many boundaries, challenging views of nudity and privacy. The work may come to help define the social, political and legal issues surrounding art in the public sphere.

Tunick has been arrested five times while attempting to work outdoors in New York City.  All charges were dropped, but he remained determined to create his work on the streets of his hometown. The artist filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city to protect himself and his participants from future arrests.  In 2000, the Second U.S. District Court sided with Tunick, recognizing that his work was protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The same year, in response to the city’s final appeal made to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the court at large, the U.S. Supreme Court also ruled in favor of Tunick, allowing the decision to stand and the artist to freely organize his work on New York City streets.

Tunick has created installations in spectacular locations around the world.  His larger scale installations with thousands of participants have been predominantly commissioned by contemporary art institutions and biennales. Highlights include 18,000 models posing in Mexico City; a work commissioned by Greenpeace on a glacier in the Swiss Alps to raise climate change awareness; 5,000 volunteers on the steps of the Sydney Opera House; and 1,200 nudes floating on the Dead Sea in Israel in September 2011 to bring attention to the sea’s precarious condition.   Tunick has been the subject of three HBO documentaries: “Naked States,” “Naked World,” and “Positively Naked.”

Spencer has spoken for our organization twice – for our European delegation in Berlin and at our global conference in New York, where he presented immediately before Vice President Al Gore. Spencer’s talks were incredibly insightful, inspirational and uplifting, challenging the audience to question common perception and forcing them to think deeper about art, creativity, design, and personal and professional integrity. Spencer is consistently evocative, entertaining, and brings an extraordinary level of professionalism. He strived to understand our constituency and calibrated his presentation to tap into their sensibilities. Spencer Tunick is an artist, an innovator and a consummate professional. We’d love to have him back!” – President & CEO, PromaxBDA


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