Desert Spirits Get Naked

The Guardian brings us an amazing shot, taken at Burning Man 2013. Usually, photographer Spencer Tunick’s subjects are naked en masse. Last year, for the clothing-optional festival Burning Man, he decided a “white diaphonous material” would be more appropriate. Wrapping the minions of the hive for the coccoon…who said Burners had to be individualistic? This shot reminds me of Heaven’s Gate!

Kiev Protests 

Artist: Spencer Tunick

Artist: Spencer Tunick. Burning Man, 2013

From The Guardian, May 9 2014:

It’s a lot of work getting people naked, especially in England,” says Spencer Tunick, the American photographer famous for his nude installation projects around the world. Of his 2005 project in Newcastle and Gateshead, Tunick says, “Despite the fact that we got a lot of people there, it was hard to convince people to take a leap of faith because the body is so sexualised there.” Tunick has not been put off by British reserve, however, and is this month coming to Folkestone in Kent as part of the Museums At Night festival, where he plans to line up 125 individuals and spend about two minutes on a nude portrait of each.

These days, Tunick’s partnerships with international museums and galleries ensure he has volunteers ready and waiting. Working with the Burning Man festival in 2013, for example, meant he had “a city of willing people” to create Desert Spirits in Nevada, shooting from before sunrise “up until the rays shone through the diaphanous fabric”. When he started out in the early 90s, before the reach of the internet, Tunick headed to the streets of the Lower East Side in Manhattan to hand out more than 1,000 flyers to passersby. “About 10-15% of them turned up. That was enough at the time.”

Since then, the numbers have increased. “It is alarming to see 1,000 people naked, and many would think it’s very 
chaotic, but these people are coming to participate and make art. It can be a very spiritual experience for them.”
Tunick can tap into the emotion of his installation only once it is over and his models share their experience with him: 
“I am more of a catalyst. At the time, I am too busy working hard to please them and myself.” 

There have been times when his volunteers have enjoyed themselves so much that they cheered. “I wish they were quieter,” Tunick says. “I would rather them concentrate on me one on one, even if it is one to 1,000.”

I was just in Kent a couple of weeks ago. Beautiful part of the world. Tunick did a nude shot in my former hometown of Melbourne about 7 years ago, some of my friends showed up at 4am to get their kit off and shut the streets down…

Spencer Tunick, 2007. 400+ people naked on the Flinders St bridge in Melbourne

Spencer Tunick, 2007. 400+ people naked on the Flinders St bridge in Melbourne

 

He’s done this before at Burning Man. Here are some past examples of Burner Spencer’s work:

Artist: Spencer Tunick. Black Rock City, 2001

Artist: Spencer Tunick. Black Rock City, 2001

 

Artist: Spencer Tunick. Burning Man 2000

Artist: Spencer Tunick. Burning Man 2000

 

Artist: Spencer Tunick. Burning Man, 2007

Artist: Spencer Tunick. Burning Man, 2007

Artist: Spencer Tunick. Year Unknown.

Artist: Spencer Tunick. Year Unknown.

5 comments on “Desert Spirits Get Naked

  1. To those saying that the Desert Spirits picture is photoshopped, those are real naked people under those sheets. I know this, I’m one of them. We gathered at the Temple before dawn that day and then Spencer took us out to the trash fence where there’s a gate. We are posed beyond the trash fence, that’s why you don’t see it in the image.

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  2. Incredible, striking pics. I’m thinking that if some (or all) of these were Photoshopped, I don’t think it matters for the effect. I’ve seen great surreal pics out there that were obviously Photoshopped, and they were fantastic. But it would be really cool that these hundreds of nudes really did take place.

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  3. I know this is a common comment on the internet. But I’m going to say it anyway. The main image looks photoshopped. The distant figures seem added. It sort of ruins the image for me. I could be wrong. What do I know. I’ve never taken a picture of hundreds of naked people at sunrise at BM.

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