By Aisha Mir – The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — If you’ve ever dreamed of standing naked with dozens of strangers in New York City while an artist turns your skin into a work of art, you may have missed your chance.
Bodypainting Day on Sunday will be the final in more than a decade of artists turning nudes into works of art.
Organizer Andy Golub expects more than 50 people to be painted over four hours in Manhattan’s Union Square. Golub has decided that this year’s event will be his last because it’s time to “move on and clear that wall.” He said he hopes to find different ways to empower and unite people, including new events next spring.
After Sunday’s bodypainting concludes, Golub said participating artists and models will march through Greenwich Village, pose for photos in Washington Square Park, ride a double-decker bus over the Manhattan Bridge, and party in Brooklyn to end the day.
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Golub, an artist and free speech activist who has been painting nude models since 2007, started an annual body painting extravaganza to highlight that nudity is legal in New York City for artistic purposes.
Still, police have not stopped trying to stop the event. Golub said he and two models were arrested in 2011 and held for 24 hours, but the charges were dropped after authorities determined they hadn’t done anything illegal.
“You’ll find that there are a lot of people who are really affected,” Golub says. “Mostly models, but I also do artists, and I feel like I’ve come out of my own skin. And it’s been like a really positive experience of really celebrating freedom.”
The event has been held in Columbus Circle, Times Square and other landmark locations around the city in the past.
All participants, models and artists must be at least 18 years old, but Sunday’s event is no longer accepting applications.
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