Artist to Paint Nude Models in Times Square Wednesday
TIMES SQUARE — Step aside, Naked Cowboy, and make way for nude models.
Artist Andy Golub will once again be painting nude male and female models in Times Square in broad daylight Wednesday afternoon, nearly two years after he was arrested and charged with public lewdness and exposure while swathing topless model Karla Storie in green and pink.
Those charges were dropped two months later when Golub agreed to only pursue his craft at night, a restriction he found chafing.
"There really was no reason for that prohibition, there was no legal basis for it, so I'm very happy that the city finally came to that place," Golub said in a phone interview Tuesday.
"I don't think there's anything about it that people need to be protected from, that children need to be protected from. What my message is about is that there's no shame toward the body. It's just really trying to appeal to people's sensibilities about art and expression."
Golub, who lives and works in Nyack, declined to state why he's decided to again try painting models by day.
A city Law Department official acknowledged in a statement, however, that Golub is "allowed to paint fully nude models in public during the day if he provides reasonable notice of the date, time, and location of his project."
City laws allow full nudity if it is part of "play, exhibition, show or entertainment," but "it is required that the models wear a G-string until it is necessary for Golub to paint that area."
A source told DNAinfo New York that Golub had "apparently provided [the] notice" required by law.
Golub returned to Times Square to paint at night "five or six times" after his arrest in 2011, but he said the performances ultimately "just did not feel right" compared to doing them by day. Art in general, he argued, aims to "really connect with people," and by painting nude bodies in front of big public crowds, he said he seeks to magnify that effect.
"I'm not just painting the body," Golub explained, "I'm also relating to the person and feeling their energy and vibe and feeding off of that. The art in many ways becomes interactive and collaborative, and doing it in public means we don't just share that process, but include the public."
Golub emphasized that he is not a nudist, and he wears clothes while he paints. In fact, the "paint" is actually theatrical make-up.
Come tomorrow, Golub said he'll aim to "keep it very simple and focus on the art as much as possible. I try not to think in terms of victories and in terms of focusing on things like civil liberties."
A goal, he said, is to show that "art can be on anything. It can be on a canvas or car or person, it can be inside or outside, and outside space seems more and more for advertising. It's important that the public space is used for expression. I don't know if community is the right word, but a place where people can connect."
The performance is scheduled to run from noon to 3 p.m. at 46th Street and Broadway.
"There will be a real buzz going around on it, and I think that's really going to have an impact on the whole of Times Square, and the whole style of the painting."