Photographer Spencer Tunick in Mexico City

The New York photographer Spencer Tunick recently broke his own record when he encouraged 17,000 Mexicans to take their clothes off and pose for him. That’s a lot of flesh in one place!

spencer tunick nudes in mexico

The volunteers posed for Tunick at the Zocalo square in Mexico City on Sunday. His previous record of 7000 nudes in Spain was broken by more than double.

Thousands of Mexicans strip for photo shoot
Not all Mexicans were impressed by the spectacle staged by Tunick, who was refused permission to hold his nude photo at the famed Teotihuacan pyramids outside the capital. “They’re losing dignity as men and women,” said 63-year-old Armando Pineda, leaning against the cathedral and watching the now-dressed models leave the plaza. “It’s an offence against the church.” SMH

105 Frida Kahlos!
On Monday, Spencer Tunick arranged a more intimate photo shoot in Mexico with a less impressive number of 105 naked people. But the unusual thing about these naked Mexicans was that they all looked like Frida Kahlo!

Here’s some quotes by Spencer Tunick from a news conference that the artist gave..

  • What a moment for the Mexican art scene. I think all eyes are looking south from the United Sates to Mexico City to see how a country can be free and treat the naked body as art. Not as pornography or as a crime, but with happiness and caring.
    Spencer Tunick
  • I just create shapes and forms with human bodies. It’s an abstraction, it’s a performance, it’s an installation. So I don’t care how many people showed up. All I know is that I filled up my space.
    Spencer Tunick

Jonathan Jones of the Guardian newspaper in the UK has wrote a piece on the work of Spencer Tunick, called “The naked truth about Tunick”..
“But so what? Tunick’s work isn’t art, and no one who actually considered it for a moment would say it was. There’s no interesting “thought” underlying his work nor is it a provocative challenge to what art is. His photograph-stunts are on the same level as a wacky advertising campaign. I find it contemptible the way Tunick is applauded for something so blatantly cynical.” JJ

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. I am not a Tunick fan, but his arrangements and photographs are his artistic statement. Not especially interesting to me, but neither is a Fragonard. So Jones is saying his photographs are NOT art because, he doesn’t like the content?
    Jones says” There’s no interesting “thought” underlying his work nor is it a provocative challenge to what art is.”

    Isn’t that kind of subjective, a matter of personal interpretation? To me the work is about humanity, vulnerability and context of humanity in relation to their surroundings. Still, are artists SUPPOSED to create work to please others, to teach the public what art is, or what to think?

  2. Wow, I did not know about the Frida angle…

  3. Art is subjective. What is art to someone might be trash to another.
    When I look at the photo, it looks like Mexican beans to me.Yum! Yum!

  4. I think art critics just like to provoke people from time to time. Like, when they are feeling unloved or people are not noticing them as much as they think they should be, they just attack an artist that they know will provoke responses.. which gives the art critic the attention (or the importance) that they crave.

    I also think that Spencer Tunick’s idea is a lot more interesting than a lot of other contemporary artists working at the moment. That’s his problem though, he only seems to have one idea, which must get boring for him.

  5. Yeah, youre right Ebb tide. They could also be coffee beans if they were a bit darker.

    I’m now hungry and feel like a coffee for some reason!


  6. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if this critic has participated in one of these photo shoots, or has produced any art. The point is to stimulate the mind and provoke people to think. I participated in one of Tunick’s shoots; it is a kind of performance art. I think the really provocative aspect of the art lies in the experience of participating as a model and thinking about the models’ interaction with their environment – all the other people there – and with their own internal issues of self-exposure. I participated in Cleveland, and it was really interesting not only to see the range of bodies under the clothes, but also to experience the range of emotions and behaviors of the people who participated. Although for naturists it is no big deal to be naked, it is a unique experience for most people and something on which they clearly reflected. So the real story behind the art is in the minds of those who became part of the art; in some ways it is more important than the picture itself.

  7. I took part in one of these installations a few years ago. I came to the conclusion (after being initially skeptical) that there is art going on, and it can be found in the relationships between the thousands of anonymous naked people in the pictures.

    I wrote more about my experience in my blog:

  8. Anonymous says:

    Its just my opinion, but why use the nude, why that as a vehicle. It seems a bit like shock value. The images are interesting enough, but I think taking a shit is interesting. The nude just seems like a gimme, when all else fails it seems controversy prevails. And in art the nude is the epitomy of controversial. My hat is off to the photographer, way to be original.

  9. the only remotely “artistic” part of Spencers work is the fact he puts effort into creating it. Art is subjective and if Post-Modernists are anything to go by Art has no meaning and therefore Di Vinci and “pile of bricks” are both meritable pieces of “art”…in my opinion this shows more artistry from those performing than the guy taking the photo, who can’t take a photo of someone directed into something naked? Has spencer not heard of the Porn industry?

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