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Naked People Lose Everything on Wall Street

By Ben Fractenberg | August 1, 2011 1:54pm
A performer takes off her clothes on Wall Street as part of an art piece on August 1, 2011.
A performer takes off her clothes on Wall Street as part of an art piece on August 1, 2011.
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Asa Gauen

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — These people really did lose everything on Wall Street.

A group of about 50 people stripped bare on Wall Street Monday morning as part of an art piece by artist Zefrey Throwell called "Ocularpation."

The artist had actors pose as local workers throughout the area. As the clock struck 7 a.m., they exposed themselves in unison.

"[I had performers] spread out all down Wall Street, from Trinity [Church] to the water. At seven [a.m.] people are spread out on the whole street and began going to work," Throwell told DNAinfo.

"As they're doing their job they begin undressing. You have janitors sweeping the sidewalk, but they happened to be naked."

The participants had dressed up like typical financial area workers, including stockbrokers, hot dog vendors and secretaries. Throwell said he had surveyed the area and had his performers mirror the demographics of Wall Street.

A few participants were arrested by police.

"Three individuals were arrested and given disorderly conduct summons," said a police spokesman.

Two men and one woman were arrested in front of the Stock Exchange around 7 a.m. and briefly detained before being given the summons and released, police said.

Throwell said he was inspired to do the piece after his mother lost her pension during the financial meltdown. She then had to search for work in her mid-60s.

"She's furious the financial institution that allowed this to happen, that swindled her, is almost totally unchanged," he said.

"I see this as an absurdest critique of something I see equally as absurd: the opacity of Wall Street."