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London art installation has hundreds posing nude wearing only masks

London art installation has hundreds posing nude wearing only masks

Hundreds of volunteers on Saturday posed nude and wore nothing but white face masks as part of an art installation at a London park. 

CNN reported Thursday that approximately 220 people stood outside Alexandra Palace in North London as part of an art exhibit titled “Everyone Together,” organized by American photographer Spencer Tunick. 

"The reality of masses of people close together — shoulder to shoulder, skin touching skin — may be something of the past for now, but still the desire is there for that natural connectivity, perhaps more so now than ever," Tunick said in a statement about holding the exhibit amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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According to CNN, the display marks the first major participatory work of art since the United Kingdom first issued a stay-at-home order in March due to the virus. 

Organizers told CNN that volunteers were screened and temperature-checked before the installation began early Saturday morning. 

The Guardian reported on Wednesday that the art installation was also sponsored by British television channel Sky Arts to celebrate it becoming a free-for-everyone channel. 

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Tunick said in a tweet, which included a photo of the participants posing in front of the palace, that he had quarantined in London for two weeks before organizing the exhibit. 

As of Thursday, Public Health England reported at least 381,614 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 41,705 deaths. 

Tunick is known for capturing photographs of hundreds and sometimes thousands of naked people posing together. In May, the American artist published a series of collage-style screenshots in which he photographed up to 49 participants at a time posing nude on a video conference. Tunick called the project “Stay Apart Together,” and said he was able to involve participants from countries around the world, including Lebanon, Thailand, Uruguay and South Africa. 

The 53-year-old photographer told CNN he was scheduled to carry out a nude photo shoot at Australia's Brisbane Airport before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Tunick said he wants his projects to continue creating a sense of community, regardless of the distance between participants.