Nudeniks

Old and busted: Israel’s birthday.

New hotness: Israeli birthday suit.

Jewish American artist Spencer Tunick announced Wednesday that he plans to produce an installation of nude figures at the Dead Sea this year, after being inspired by the region’s beauty and its everincreasing environmental deterioration due to evaporation.

The concept, called “Naked Sea,” launched a campaign on the fundraising website Kickstarter that will run through June 6 and aims to raise $60,000 to finance the installation, an amount which, according to the rules of the fundraising website, must be fully raised by the end date in order to receive any money, a statement from the artist said.

The Kickstarter campaign, launched Wednesday, had raised $1,435 by early Thursday evening.

First envisioned jointly by Tunick and his friend, Tel Aviv resident Ari Fruchter, the project has faced many challenges getting up and running, particularly due to the hypersensitivity toward displays of nude art in this country, Tunick’s statement said.

Tunick has been documenting the nude in public through his photography and video work since 1992, and since 1994 has installed 75 temporary site-specific installations all over the United States and the world, according to his website.

“For the past few years I have been gearing up for this and working with Tunick. My first challenge was to see if the people of Israel were ready to get naked for art. Much to my surprise, the overwhelming answer was yes,” Fruchter said in the statement, noting that a group of five university students started a grassroots campaign to enlist public support, which has attracted thousands since.

Meanwhile, my advice to Tunick’s subjects: Stay away from these guys during the shoot. 

Previously on Israellycool: Wednesday Evening Comedy

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David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media