We went on location in Montauk this week to bring you a front row seat at the naked-est party in the Hamptons. We’re not talking Surf Lodge, or even P. Diddy’s infamous pool parties — instead, we hopped on the Jitney and trekked out to far eastern Long Island to participate in a new Spencer Tunick installation with a call time of 4 a.m.
We were not alone. One fellow exhibitionist explained that Spencer has “followed” her around the world, organizing installations in several of the cities in which she’s resided (Mexico City, São Paulo, New York). Another nude dude admitted that missing the Caracas project when he lived in Venezuela was the biggest regret of his young life. Others — white, black, thin, obese, pregnant, infant — were presumably there as we were: to legally sunbathe at dawn on a wild, scenic beach. (And get an 8″x10″ artist print as a souvenir.)
We congregated in a dark parking lot adjacent to the Montauk Highway that loops around the easternmost point of Long Island, trying to avoid negative thoughts about the 50-something degree weather. Tunick went through the setups he’d be arranging for the shoot, including a horrific-sounding pose called “The Crab.” The group of 300 or so then trekked down to the beachfront, nestled between high cliffs and the picturesque Montauk Lighthouse, for more waiting. Once dawn arrived and the clouds broke, everyone stripped down and picked their way across the rocky beach to take position.
After a hot shower and a nap, we spoke to Spencer to ask about future projects and the tricky nature of organizing hundreds of unclothed people in public places. And check out some exclusive photos, shot by photographer Casey Kelbaugh.
Photo credit: © Casey Kelbaugh