MIAMI - Hundreds of people took their clothes off in the name of art in South Beach Monday. Spencer Tunick, a photographer and artist of the human form, put out the call last month for 600 volunteers to be part of his upcoming art installation at South Beach's Sagamore Hotel. The final product will be unveiled during Miami Beach's annual Art Basel festivities in December.
On Monday morning, it was organized chaos as the volunteers lined Collins Avenue waiting for officials to direct them to the mass photo shoot.
The crowd came in all shapes, sizes, ages and ethnic backgrounds.
"I'm a nudist," said 77-year-old Ron Russell. Russell said he belongs to a nudist club. "It's an extension from other things I've done. I like being nude," said Russell.
Martha Miranda just wanted to be part of history in the making history.
"Anyone that's here. They are going to be seen all over the world," said Miranda.
Stacey Binderim said the thought of being naked made her feel "very free and very comfortable."
Tunick was expected to shoot three different poses, one on the Sagamore's balcony, another in the garden area and another in the pool. The pool shoot featured the men and women on rafts. The artist was able to arrange his human installation by talking to the crowd of people on a bullhorn. But anyone hoping to get a glimpse of the nude bodies that wasn't part of the festivities had a difficult time. The area was blocked off from public view.
The artist was pleased with the range of types that showed up for South Beach shoot-- not just Miami's famously trim models and six-pack gym bodies.
Tunick is widely celebrated for his elaborately posed installations of multiple nude figures within interestingly selected public settings. His temporary site-specific installations have taken place across the globe in cities including Lyon, Melbourne, Mexico City, New York and Barcelona. Tunick has a reputation for gathering thousands of volunteers to take part in his elaborate installations.
The collaboration with Tunick is part of the Sagamore's ongoing programming, which routinely invites recognized artists to create original works in a variety of exhibition areas located throughout the hotel's interior spaces, gardens and on its oceanfront beach. Previous collaborations included photographer Massimo Vitali, multimedia artist Roxy Paine and the veteran conceptual artist Yoko Ono. Last year, Ono chose the Sagamore's gardens for her world-renowned interactive piece "Onochord."
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