NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – 1010 WINS spoke with Parisian photographer Erica Simone, 25, who has been going around the Big Apple taking self portraits of herself wearing nothing but her birthday suit.
Twenty shots, including Simone riding naked on the subway and shoveling snow, will be part of her new exhibit “Nue York: Self Portraits of a Bare Urban Citizen” opening April 14 at the Dash Gallery in Tribeca.
WINS: We understand you’re putting on a different kind of art show coming up. You want to tell us a little bit about it?
Simone: I’m basically exhibiting myself. I shoot myself nude in the city, all over the place, in really public places. I have a shot in the subway, library, deli, on the back of a motorcycle; there’s a whole bunch of them.
WINS: Do you have to get permits beforehand or close it off?
Simone: No, I go in and I just do it guerilla-style. I mean, I literally set up and I’m in and out usually within 10 minutes, I mean sometimes it takes me a little bit longer depending on timing. I don’t tell anybody, I just go in, do my thing and run away and hope nobody saw me. Although, you know, cops — that’s the only thing that I worry about.
WINS: Have you ever had any problems?
Simone: No, I never had any problems – knock on wood.
WINS: Do you have someone take them [pictures] for you?
Simone: I take them all myself. I have a tripod and a remote control shutter release so I’m the only person who touches the camera and the only one to fire.
WINS: Did you do something with the blizzard?
Simone: Not this year, but last year. My shot in the snow…I did one right after the first big snowstorm but this year, no, I didn’t.
WINS: Tell me some more places you did this.
Simone: … I’ve done it on Houston Street, Bleecker, Varick, mainly outdoors. I was in the NYU Public Library a couple of weeks ago, I did a shot in an airplane, all over the place. Down on Bowery by Jay Maisel’s building, construction sites, Meatpacking District.
WINS: What kind of reaction or feedback have you been getting to these pictures?
Simone: So far a lot of great feedback, actually. I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails from both men and women. A lot of people are just encouraging it and saying that they like it, it’s brave, they like the artistic side of it. I’ve been getting a couple of sort of right-wing rhetoric but they’re not too focused on that, thank God.
WINS: No matter, you’re going to get a mix.
Simone: You take a risk when you go naked in public…they either praise or condemn…but overall a lot of really great feedback and good e-mails so I’m very happy about that.
WINS: It sounds like it’s a lot of fun, I’m sure it takes a lot of guts to do it.
Simone: It is a lot of fun, that’s most of the reason why I do it is because it’s so much fun and it’s thrilling. I’m not an exhibitionist, I’m not particularly somebody who loves to be naked, I’m not a nudist. But it is fun and it’s definitely an adrenaline rush and it’s different from going out and shooting other stuff, definitely more interesting.
WINS: Well if you ever had being naked in the city on your bucket list you could cross that one off now.
Simone: Exactly, done. Being naked in the subway, check!
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