ARTS & CULTURE

This Is What Happens When You Bring Nudists To An Art Museum (NSFW)

04/09/2015 12:27 pm ET | Updated Apr 09, 2015

Warning: If our headline wasn't hint enough for you, this post includes a lot of nudity. A lot.

"Naked, our whole body experiences color," says artist Stuart Ringholt. "We no longer just look at it, but now have the capacity to feel it also. We can let it wash over us, feel its vibration."

This is the rather romantic sentiment behind the newest trend in art: naked museum tours. As if it needs explanation, the practice involves hordes of nude patrons gazing upon a museum's offerings sans clothing. The tours usually take place after hours, when the "skyclad" spectators -- that's the official modifier for nude art tour enthusiasts -- can soak up masterpieces without the prying eyes of more puritanical admirers. You know, the ones who insist upon wearing clothing.

Words fail to express the trend, really. Why don't you just take a look for yourself?

nudes

Stuart Ringholt. Preceded by a tour of the show by artist Stuart Ringholt, 6-8pm. James TURRELL Virtuality squared 2014. Ganzfeld: built space, LED lights. Collection James Turrell. Photograph: Christo Crocker Copyright Stuart Ringholt. Copyright James Turrell. Image courtesy: National Gallery of Australia.

The above photo was taken at Australia's National Gallery of Art in Canberra, the most recent museum to hop aboard the nude art tour train. In conjunction with its exhibition, "James Turrell: A Retrospective," the NGA recruited Melbourne-based Ringholt to host three 50-person nude tours of the show. All of the tours, hosted in April, sold out within one day of releasing tickets.

The Huffington Post interviewed Ringholt last month. He waxed poetic on the dreamy benefits of the tours. "Why do we not consider the clothed audience as noise?" he pondered. "We need to consider the reductive approach again and reduce the audience. Nudity is a solution." Now that he's successfully led groups of mandatorily nude adults through Turrell's light-soaked installations, we checked back in for evidence of the happenings. Voila:

nude

Stuart Ringholt. Preceded by a tour of the show by artist Stuart Ringholt, 6-8pm. James TURRELL Virtuality squared 2014. Ganzfeld: built space, LED lights. Collection James Turrell. Photograph: Christo Crocker Copyright Stuart Ringholt. Copyright James Turrell. Image courtesy: National Gallery of Australia.

Surprisingly, there are more than a couple of institutions willing to indulge the fantasy of naked art viewing. The Leopold Museum in Austria obliged fans of the "Nude Men from 1800 to Today" exhibition, hosting tours in which "nude was the new normal." The El Segundo Museum of Art in California was happy to let the naked body be free, too.

For more on the Turrell tours, check out our full interview with Ringholt here. And bask in the glory of naked art viewing below.

one

The nude tour waits together in the museum's lobby. (Photograph: Christo Crocker. Image courtesy: National Gallery of Australia)

"The term 'skyclad' is used within naturist and nudist communities as a term for being without clothes." -Ringholt

two

Up the escalator they go. (Photograph: Christo Crocker. Image courtesy: National Gallery of Australia)

"Leaving clothes at the door reduces the quantity of synthetic material in the gallery. The art is the only entity that carries the reds, blues and greens." -Ringholt

stu

Hi, Stuart! (Photograph: Christo Crocker. Image courtesy: National Gallery of Australia)

"The nude audience unlocks dormant narratives and meaning within art. Without the nude audience it remains hidden." -Ringholt

blue

Stuart Ringholt. Preceded by a tour of the show by artist Stuart Ringholt, 6-8pm. James TURRELL Virtuality squared 2014. Ganzfeld: built space, LED lights. Collection James Turrell. Photograph: Christo Crocker Copyright Stuart Ringholt. Copyright James Turrell. Image courtesy: National Gallery of Australia.

"Nudity frees the spirit. It promotes positive body image and is an opportunity to accept one's body, not despise it." -Ringholt

red

Stuart Ringholt. Preceded by a tour of the show by artist Stuart Ringholt, 6-8pm. James TURRELL Virtuality squared 2014. Ganzfeld: built space, LED lights. Collection James Turrell. Photograph: Christo Crocker Copyright Stuart Ringholt. Copyright James Turrell. Image courtesy: National Gallery of Australia.

Earlier on HuffPost:

Nude Men
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