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Parisian-born photographer Erica Simone lays bare everyday activities in nude works of art

Monday, April 11, 2011

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A Parisian-born shutterbug who likes to flash her camera has turned daily routines in the Naked City into works of art.

Photographer Erica Simone, 25, has gone au naturel in a series of self-portraits taken around New York. In them, she rides the subway, checks out library books and shovels the snow on the sidewalk outside her apartment - all in the buff.

The 20 shots are part of Simone's new exhibit "Nue York: Self-Portraits of a Bare Urban Citizen," which opens next month at the Dash Gallery in Tribeca.

The inspiration for the photos came to Erica Simone during Fashion Week two years ago.

"I was sitting around thinking about fashion and what would we be if we were naked and what if we didn't have fashion to show who we were, our status, how much money we had, all these things," she told the Daily News.

"Then I got the photographic idea of shooting people naked in the street, but just doing regular things, not especially posing, or being naked, but doing whatever."

She drew on the work of Miru Kim, a New York-based artist known for taking self-portraits in barren industrial spaces.

Simone was also intrigued by the challenge of staging the shots - which she took using a remote sensor - and stripping down to her birthday suit.

"At first it was like, 'Can I really do this?'" Simone said. "I was into the idea, but I didn't totally have the [nerve] to do it - I'm not totally an exhibitionist."

She landed five usable images on her first day of shooting in the West Village.

"And I didn't get arrested," she said.

Erica Simone wants to draw people to the playfulness of the shots.

"It's not about sex, it's silly," she said. "It's crazy that it's illegal to be naked."

New Yorkers shown the photos bared their admiration for Simone having the courage to take off her clothes in public.

"I don't have the guts to do it," said Megan Clausen, a 25-year-old architect from Philadelphia.

Her, co-worker, Darcy Wilkins, 29, agreed.

"I'd go see it," she said. "I always ask my cat, 'Why can't I walk around naked?'" (Source)
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