Spencer Tunick is an American Photograph who is known for his nude photography, often containing a mass of people. Although the medium used is technically photography, the pieces are actually a documentation of an installation. Tunick uses the nude bodies to occupy and fill a space, changing its meaning and then documents the event through a well compositioned photograph.
His work certainly makes a statement. Nudity has been used throughout art for almost as long as art has been around, but Tunick’s photographs help to normalise the naked human body through repetition. It is more common to see the naked body associated with sex than anything else. Especially using photography and nudity, Tunick ran the risk of his work being potentially viewed as pornographic – which it certainly isn’t. Nudity and sexuality is everywhere in Western culture, through advertising and TV, and so it is refreshing for an artist to take the literal nude form and reclaim it as something which is not sexual.
Tunick’s installations use a variety of landscapes and locations, some familiar and some not. Perhaps his reasoning is to inject the natural human body back into the world, and remind us that we are part of it.
He has been known to grade his models by age, gender, hair length or skin tone, to achieve different looks within his work. It’s possible to sign up to take part in one of his photographs using this form on his website.