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Photographer Poses Nude In ‘Nue York’ To Question the Role of Fashion in Society (NSFW)

on 13 March 2016

After the first time you glance at the photographs in Erica Simone's book 'Nue York: Self-Portraits of a Bare Urban Citizen', you may be forgiven for thinking that Simone is just another model in New York City, rather than an award-winning photographer who has had her work printed in publications such as National Geographic, PHOTO, Resource, Le Parisien, and El Mundo.

The images in her series portray her all over the city participating in simple activities such as taking selfies, boarding a taxi, riding the subway, browsing the supermarket, and working out in the gym—the only difference is that she does them nude to figuratively strip down the barriers between her and her audience.

Even though in this project she acts as both model and photographer, she rarely works in front of the camera. In an interview with Konbini, Simone spoke of having to slowly grow more confident with her body during the project:"Since I am not naturally an exhibitionist, it took a lot of strength and conviction, but over the years, I’ve become extremely comfortable shedding my clothing in public, just by nature of repetition."

Having to accustom herself to posing nude was just one part of the difficulties that needed to be overcome to get this book off the ground.

'Nue York' was actually first shot in 2009, and over time she developed enough material to make the series into a full book that has finally been released. In Simone's artist statement of the project, she explained:"Nue York: Self-Portraits of a Bare Urban Citizen was born out of an initial questioning about clothing and the importance of fashion in modern society. Clothes do so much more than just meet our physical needs. What we wear acts as a silent language, allowing us to convey who we are and want to be to the outside world."

By disrobing as a social experiment to see how people would view her without a carefully constructed veil, she began asking a few questions to herself that she hoped the project would convey to the public:"What if all we had was our natural state to express who we are? Could we overcome our self consciousness and become fully confident in our own skin? How would we assimilate or dissimilate? Could being naked in the world transcend sexual connotations and why is nudity so taboo that it is against the law?"

All images used with the permission of Erica Simone. Help support her by purchasing the bookhere.

At the moment she is planning a project with the non-profit organization Beauty for Freedomto travel to Cambodia and raise awareness for children who are victims of human trafficking.

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