A Miami based contemporary art newsletter / blog

Jet Set Saturdays: Andy Golub Bodypainted Topless Models at the Village Halloween Parade


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Our New York City pick this week is the Village Halloween Parade, in particular the body art of Andy Golub. Now, because the parade doesn’t start until 7pm we don’t have any images or commentary, but in the mean time we’re happy to fill you in. Every year since 1973 when a local mask maker organized a neighborhood walk for his children and their friends the Village Halloween Parade, a not-for-profit organization since discontinuing its association with Theater for the New City, has gone from strength to strength and today is the largest celebration of its kind in the world drawing 2 million spectators annually.

This year, owing to the uncertainty and turmoil of our current economic climate, the parade’s organizers have chosen the topical theme of “Terra Incognita” in an effort to capture our shared sense of dread (and excitement) of sailing into the unknown waters of our not so distant future. In just a few hours an estimated 45,000 costumed New Yorkers will join hundreds of puppets, scores of bands, dancers and artists, in what is arguably the nation’s most wildly creative public participatory event.


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New York City is known as a magnet for creative, bold, and exhibitionist personalities and this event really confirms and extenuates this. Among the many tonight, for the third year in a row, will be Andy Golub, the artist infamous for painting nude women on the streets of New York City. As in previous years (see photos) Golub’s bodypainted models will ride through the parade in the artist’s painted vehicles, a 1963 Chevy Low-rider truck and a 2007 Toyota Matrix.

Andy’s beautiful bodypaintings add a great energy to the Halloween Parade,” said Jeanne Fleming, Artistic and Producing Director of New York’s Village Halloween Parade. “We look forward to Andy’s creations for the third straight year.

In our opinion Golub’s work, which at best evokes Burning Man acid flashbacks, is neither new or particularly interesting, however, what is vaguely interesting is its lose, somewhat belated connection with the theme of tonight’s parade. After being banned from Times Square by the NYPD, Golub enlisted the help of civil rights attorney Ron Kuby who clarified the law in a letter to the city that stated, “the right of women to bare their breasts in public is protected by the New York State Constitution, People v. Santorelli (1992).” Thanks to Kuby’s efforts and the tart irrelevancy of Golub’s drive, New Yorkers, aside from occasionally bumping into Golub’s samey, risqué crap throughout their city’s public spaces, now know that should they wish to, they may expose themselves without fear of reprehension. Not so much Terra Incognita as a revelation on our horndog-oriented legal system, the consciousness given to expansion by Golub’s nobbing about the Big Apple is at least positive with regard to the arguably necessary shedding of textile prejudices. Nevertheless, rather than serve to contradict the media’s passion for using the naked form for commercial gain and the repeated implied suggestion, to the majority of the population, that there is something to be ashamed of about their own body, which therefore should be covered up in socio-economic labeling textiles, Golub’s practice, despite inadvertently broadening the horizons of New York’s would-be nudists, is largely sensationalist and therefore ultimately cheap and nasty.

Notwithstanding Golub’s legacy we will be fully clothed this evening, going as we are as wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men (again). But you don’t have to dress up to enjoy the fun. If costume, let alone partial nudity, is a little too much to bare for you just line up on 6th Avenue between Spring and 21st Street or, if you’re simply afraid (of drunk people), then you can watch it all on NY1.

To view Golub’s portfolio please visit:

To read an informed take on the right to engage in naked outdoor activities please go here.

This post was contributed by Thomas Hollingworth.

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Jet Set Saturdays: Andy Golub Bodypainted Topless Models at the Village Halloween Parade