Spencer Tunick: Nudes, landscapes and global warming

At a recent trip to my son’s dentist, I was flipping through the latest issue of Time Magazine and came across a photo of hundreds of nude people standing on Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland. The photo was taken by Spencer Tunick on August 18 as Tunick’s effort to show the vulnerability of people and the planet due to global warming–an interesting, and certainly eye catching approach.

(The photo here is of participants walking up the glacier before their clothes came off. It’s on the Aletsch Glacier page of the Spencer Tunick Experience Web site. Yes, there’s a nude photo there as well.)

I find Tunick’s work tasteful and compelling, perhaps because I grew up in a house filled with art and surrounded by artists. Perhaps, I find Tunick’s work intriguing because there are so many people of all shapes, sizes and skin tones represented that the individual becomes part of the whole. As a person with a sociology background, people in groups draw me into the idea of the bigger picture of life and relationships. This is perhaps part of Tunick’s point. Seeing the photo in Time Magazine reminded me of my own missed Tunick opportunity.

A few years ago, a friend emailed me about participating in a Spencer Tunick photo shoot outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Sure, I’m game, I thought, and registered. The photo shoot date was switched, however, and I had a conflict, so I was unable to participate after all. I wasn’t sure that I would have anyway, but it was a gleeful thought. My friend did show up along with hundreds of other people, for the event and thought the experience was wonderful and liberating. She ended up with a limited edition of the official photograph for her efforts and an interesting story to tell. She did mention how cold the ground was at that time in the morning.

Tunick’s most recent shoot was in Miami, Florida this past October. The photographs are on exhibit through the end of this month at the Sagmore Art Hotel in Miami. The one here is from the exhibit. If you can’t tell, it’s of men on rafts.

If you have a hankering to have a travel experience you won’t likely repeat elsewhere, register to participate in a future Spencer Tunick photography event. I’m sure he’s not done yet, so who knows where such an endeavor might take you.