CLEVELAND: More than a hundred women stripped and posed naked with mirrors in Cleveland, answering a photographer’s call to blend art with politics and portray Donald Trump as unfit for the White House.
They gathered on the eve of the Republican National Convention, where the brash New York billionaire will be anointed the party’s nominee for president after winning a raucous primary race despite alarm from the party establishment and the country at large about his divisiveness.
“He is a loser,” photographer Spencer Tunick told AFP after the sunrise shoot in which 130 women took part. One hundred of them will be featured in the picture to be unveiled shortly before the November 8 election.
The installation took place on private property in sight of the arena where the convention kicks off on Monday, the focus of multiple groups of protesters expected to take to the streets this week.
The owner gave permission, said Tunick, and so while public nudity in Cleveland is illegal, it was not possible for police to intervene.
Entitled “Everything She Says Means Everything,” the photo art featured women of all shapes, colors and sizes participated, holding up mirrors toward the arena.
Tunick’s website said the mirrors reflected “the knowledge and wisdom of progressive women and the concept of ‘Mother Nature’… onto the convention center, cityscape and horizon of Cleveland.”
The artist is well known for his sometimes startling images of nude people. But Tunick told AFP he thought it was his most political shoot ever, saying he felt compelled to take action.
Just voting against Trump at the ballot box in November was not enough.
“I have two daughters and a wife,” he said. “I can’t believe the language and rhetoric of hate against women and minorities coming from the Republican Party.”
He said he had to do something to counter “this idiotic thinking.”
MaPo Kinnord, 55, an art professor and artist, said she took part because she loved Tunick’s work and happened to be visiting her niece in the city where she grew up.
Currently living in New Orleans, she said the installation opposed Republicans who were making Americans afraid, by telling them they should fear Muslims and immigrants.
“To be totally naked and out in the open and to be fearless is what we need to be,” Kinnord explained.
Trump has called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States and a wall to be built on the Mexican border to keep out illegal immigrants.
Kinnord said she would “never” vote for Trump and expressed hope that Britain’s recent referendum voting to leave the European Union had been a wake-up call against complacency in the US election.
While she voted for self-declared democratic socialist Bernie Sanders in the primaries, she said she was happy to back presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Morning Robinson, 18, took part with her mother, saying she wanted “to do something a little different” before going off to college that would enable her to express herself freely.
“I was really nervous at first,” but it felt good being out in the open and not afraid of her body, she said.
“Republicans have this view of how women should be in society and I just don’t agree,” she said. “I don’t know exactly, I just know their views don’t match mine.”
Size-wise, the artwork was a far cry from Tunick’s most recent work.
In Colombia last month, he convinced more than 6,000 women to bare all in Bogota as the war-torn country neared a peace deal with the leftist rebels of FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.