I ask a lot of questions. Some questions are more important than others. Will I get to work on time? How am I going to pay for this? Do I have cash on me? Are you going to finish that? What are you doing on Friday? Do you want to hang out? Why does it smell in here?
Today, all of these questions are made moot upon a particular artist coming to New York, one Erica Simone. She’s a world renowned photographer, winner of many awards, and appears in exhibitions all over the world. With all of her work, she posits important questions to the viewer. Her latest work speaks volumes to me, and forces me to ask an extremely important question:
Why was there a naked woman walking around New York City and I didn’t notice it?
Personally, I feel this is a question we all should ask ourselves. If fully naked people are walking around our cities, how do we miss them? Are we just really busy with our lives, imagining what people might look like naked. Or, even worse, we could be working. That’d be far worse.
Obviously if you decide to look at her photos, perhaps you should know these are Not Safe for Work (NSFW, in case you didn’t know the acronym. You’d be surprised how many don’t.) Erica walks around completely naked. When I first heard about this, my immediate hope was that she wore shoes at least for the pictures. I don’t know why this was a worry, the sidewalk is disgusting. Apparently she realized shoes were necessary.
Her objective appears to be showing people in their natural state, without clothes to distinguish socials status or ranking. Or, as some art critics have stated “to show off her rocking bod”. A few prudes have mentioned how children might be affected by seeing some woman walk around naked. The retort has been nearly a resounding “Shut up”.
All of these photos will be displayed at The Dash Gallery on April 14th, 2011 on 172 Duane Street, NY. In case you are unable to attend, due to living in a more heavily clothed city, well you can see a small selection of about 24 pictures on her site all in various stages of undress (sometimes she wears a hat).
Naked, we see all her imperfections, like the painfully lame tattoo she has on the small of her back. Little Stars, are those really that original? I mean, aren’t you an artist, shouldn’t you have better taste in tattoos than a small child? That’s another question she forces all of us to ask. Are artists aware of what good tattoo are, or is the old saying true that 99% of all tattoos are bad ideas born in a drunken debauched haze.
Gazing through the pictures, people appear to be surprisingly tolerant of a hot naked woman in their midst. Most of the time people fail to react to seeing her naked. Those who claim the subway shows the opposite are wrong. One of the rules of riding the subway is to pay attention to nothing while at the same time figuring out where you’re supposed to go. Subway riding is an art form.
Whenever I’ve seen papers cover up her nakedness, there have been objections. The Daily News covered up her butt as she shoveled snow, which drew the ire of several commenter s, stating far worse material was in the paper than a little side ass. Most of the humor she aimed for in these photos is due more to New Yorker’s complete blasé than anything she did. Besides, she probably did this on a Tuesday or something, when people were busy getting to work. At least that’s what I’d like to think and not that I missed seeing her over the weekend.
Questions were brought up regarding her experiment. Various individuals wondered how this differed from streaking or exposing oneself. The most important question came from one individual who mentioned how they looked at their cat and wondered why they couldn’t walk around naked like their small pet. That’s a question worth asking indeed. Why do small pets get to walk around naked while we need to work to put food on the floor? An even better one would be: why can’t we switch with cats, where they work to keep jobs and maintain infrastructure while we nap on a windowsill for 16 hours?
Clearly Erica Simone gives us a lot to think about.
PS: Let me know if you think I should attend this event. I hope I can ‘get off’ that day, from work.