TIMES SQUARE — These models' beauty was more than just skin deep.
Three nearly nude women, wearing little more than paint, shoes and underwear, invited New Yorkers to study their anatomy Thursday in the heart of Times Square, sporting layers of latex, acrylic, ink and makeup depicting their bodies' bones, nerves and musculature.
"We're celebrating bodies of all shapes and sizes — that the body is a really beautiful thing," said model Ann Folckomer-Williams, 25, standing in Father Duffy Square on Broadway between 46th and 47th streets. "It's not about fur coats and jewelry and fashion, it's what you're equipped with."
The display was a promotion for Body Worlds: Pulse, an exhibit of preserved, skinless cadavers that made Discovery Times Square its permanent home this summer. The event was also timed to overlap with the closing of Fashion Week, as the models donned jewelry, sunglasses, and handbags made by indie designers Janna Applebaum, Eduardo Francia and Mary Lai.
"Fashion Week celebrates what's over the skin, and Body Worlds celebrates what's under the skin," said Body Worlds marketing coordinator Cara Scarnati.
Painter Danny Quirk and make-up artist Rachel Ouellette, both of western Massachusetts, worked through the night to expose their subjects' innards, a process they said that took roughly four hours per model.
"Everything's perfectly anatomically accurate," Quirk said. "I use bony landmarks, get the muscles to line up. Everything matches up to that individual."
The back, he added, with its intricate network of muscles and vertebrae, is his favorite part of the body to paint.
"It's absolutely gorgeous," he said. "I'm trying to get people interested in what's beneath their skin. See it for its beauty. See it for its inspiration."
Quirk and Ouellette's work attracted plenty of attention, as passersby paused to snap and pose for photos.
"People seem genuinely interested," Folckomer-Williams said. "It's not all about fur coats and jewelry and fashion — it's what you're equipped with. We're celebrating bodies of all shapes and sizes, that the body is a really beautiful thing."