UPPER WEST SIDE — Forty nude models of all shapes, ages and sizes will get painted by 30 artists from around the country this Saturday in Columbus Circle as part of the latest body-painting exhibition staged by artist Andy Golub.
After getting arrested for public lewdness at smaller body-painting events in the past, the 48-year-old reached an agreement with the city in 2013 whereby he can continue his work — an agreement that's encouraged him to host his biggest event yet. Last July, he painted nude models in front of the Guggenheim Museum, in Times Square and near the High Line.
Volunteer models from the group Young Naturists and Nudists of America will gather at 2 p.m. for the painting at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park between West 58th and 59th streets. The Parks Department confirmed Golub has a permit for the activity, and he doesn't anticipate any trouble from the NYPD.
Artists from across the country and as far as Hawaii are flying in for the event, and Golub said he's had to turn down both models and artists wanting to participate.
"People want to be part of an art project... and it makes a statement," he told DNAinfo New York.
After several hours of painting, the models will parade from Columbus Circle to Time Square via Broadway at about 6 p.m. and then board a double-decker bus Golub is renting so they can ride around Lower Manhattan.
Spectators who are also interested in being painted can meet up with the artists for an after-party at Times Scare.
For Golub, body painting is about being in the moment, engaging with the person he's painting in a way he can't with a canvas, celebrating body acceptance, and the fun and interactivity of public art, he explained.
"If we have another [event], there might be hundreds or even thousands of models getting painted," he said.