Naked and Unafraid (NSFW)

June 9, 2017

Times Square, once the best place to study the undraped human figure, has long since become a PG paradise for the most sensitive visitor. Just last month, New York City bid its final farewell to 92 year old Richard Basciano aka the Porn King of Times Square. But thanks, in part, to the many First Amendment battles he fought and won, nudity was back on the Deuce for a day.

Andy Golub, the Executive Director of Human Connection Arts, is another First Amendment warrior whose battles helped change the laws on public nudity in New York City. In 2014 he started NYC Bodypainting Day and has taken the event to San Francisco, Amsterdam and Brussels. Today, Golub and a hundred or so human canvasses took over the Times Square pedestrian mall for several hours of bodypainting fun in the sun.

The event was called “Body Notes” and the idea was to create ‘a powerful expression of positivity and acceptance’. Inspired by Subway Therapy‘s post it notes, the participants graced their fronts (and backs in some cases) with a painted on post it note that provided a short message or personal mantra. Orange, yellow and blue hued bodies sporting unique messages or fond wishes for the Universe painted themselves and others. A cadre of artist specialists helped out with the lettering.

Roger, a 54 years old gent visiting from FL, was participating in the annual NYC Bodypainting Day for the third time. His post it said, “Be Yourself.” Koy, another veteran of the event, wore a message stating, “Love More Fearless, Float More Steerless.” On her arm was a post it post script: “All is Always Now.” Amy, a sky blue New York City woman, wanted to let people know that “Love is Never Wrong.”

Both Andy Golub and his wife Carol Sumkin were on hand to organize the event, direct traffic and keep it mellow. From the looks on the faces of the afternoon tourist throng, the sight of so many otherwise nude men and women parading around was no big deal. And maybe that’s a post it thought to hold onto? We came into this world naked and our ancestors probably stayed that way, climate permitting, for untold millenia before we became so irrationally freaked out by the sight of a boob, butt or bicho.

Several hours after the event, a bodypainted woman was spotted crossing 9th Avenue and 40th Street and heading west, having evidently decided to stay in character for the walk home. And again, the reactions of her fellow pedestrians were negligible to non-existent.

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