Adorned with only garlands of marigolds, they posed in San Miguel de Allende
In accordance with the Day of the Dead theme, Spencer Tunick’s 100 subjects were adorned with garlands of orange marigolds, but that was all they wore during the chilly, early-morning session.
Aged from 20 to 60, they came from different parts of Mexico and from the United States to spend nearly two hours in the center of San Miguel, striking various poses.
It was early enough that many residents were still sleeping, and that created a sense of intimacy for some. “It felt intimate. There’s another vibe when there aren’t any men present,” said Cecilia, from Guadalajara. “I was at the session in the zócalo in Mexico City and it was something else, it was very difficult, here it’s better. There’s more respect. It’s great.”
Tunick invited men and women to shed their clothing in the center of Mexico City in 2007 and 18,000 turned up. During a visit to San Miguel in August he told a reporter that he was planning another event in Mexico City. He also observed that Mexicans are open-minded about posing nude for the camera.
Tunick has said that his philosophy is that “individuals en masse, without their clothing, grouped together, metamorphose into a new shape. The bodies extend into and upon the landscape like a substance. These grouped masses which do not underscore sexuality become abstractions that challenge or reconfigure one’s views of nudity and privacy.”
For some citizens of San Miguel the event was a nuisance; the closed streets hindered their usual activities. Others, many of them men, crowded around nearby street corners to watch with interest.
The temperature hovered around 5 C, and a bit of mist created a mystical feel to the morning.
“Yes, it’s cold but everything is fine,” said Lorena, an American resident of San Miguel. “ . . . . I’m very pleased to see so many Mexican women here.”