Model held for posing nude at NY museum

Model held for posing nude at NY museum

But the idea of a real, naked human body is, it seems, just too much for the authorities.
Kathleen “KC” Neill, 26, was arrested on Thursday and charged with public lewdness after posing naked in the museum for photographer Zach Hyman as part of a series of nudes in New York’s public spaces.

“It is just ridiculous,” Hyman, 22, said of the charge. “There are sculptures of nude men and women in there. There are paintings of nude men and women in there. They are talking about children in there and seeing this happen and how awful it is. Then don’t bring your kids to the Met.”

On Thursday afternoon, Hyman, who has shot nudes in Times Square, in the subway, in a church and other public spaces without complaint, entered the museum with Neill and his support team. At what Hyman thought was the appropriate moment, Neill shed her dress and the photographer got to work. Seconds later Neill donned her clothes and Hyman handed the film to an aide.

“None of the patrons had any problem with it, probably because they were in an art museum and we were doing an art piece.” But a female guard followed Neill to the front of the 129-year-old museum, where another guard physically prevented the model from leaving, Hyman said. Police were summoned. Hyman was released while Neill was handcuffed and taken away in a police car.

“As a nonprofit institution on city-owned land, the Met, like all other individual and institutional citizens, is subject to municipal laws, rules, and regulations,” said museum spokesman Harold Holzer in a statement.

For his part, Hyman said the project, entitled ‘Decent Exposures’, was inspired by the nudes in the Met’s galleries. “I want to show the human form in all of its glory,” he said. “It is basically to dissemble the idea that nudity equates to pornography and nudity equates to sexuality.”

The photograph will go on display at New York’s Chair and the Maiden gallery next week, along with the rest of the series. Hyman has photographed both men and women for his project, but said women are easier. “People see a naked woman and they smile,” he said. “They see a penis and they freak out.”

The Guardian

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