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Controversial artist paints nude female model in Times Square

posted 31 Aug 2011, 10:43 by Mpelembe   [ updated 31 Aug 2011, 10:45 ]

Artist exercises his right to freedom of expression by painting a nude female model in public.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 30, 2011) REUTERS - New York City's Times Square came to a standstill on Tuesday (August 30) after a model shed her clothes in the name of art.

Street artist Andy Golub used the iconic location as his art studio and the nude body of Zoe West as his canvas in order to combine his passion for art and live body painting.

"It's a great experience for me and the model artistically when I do the painting there's a really unique connection that me and the model share and that inspires the art. And the connection is very much just like every person has their own energy and so in a way a lot of times the art that I do is like interruptive painting," said Golub.

This is the 15th time Golub has commanded the attention of normally busy New Yorkers with his work. Earlier this year Golub was arrested and charged with public lewdness while painting a nude models in lower Manhattan. While Golub is worried about being a repeat offender, he said it's all in the name of art.

"There's really not a lot of things that I would do, putting myself in that kind of harm's way, but I'm very passionate about my art and expression. And so I'm not doing anything illegal, if it was illegal I wouldn't do it," Golub told Reuters.

Dressed in nothing but a thong and a smile, West has already made backup plans in case of an arrest.

"There's a little bit of a fear that that might happen but I've arranged my schedule accordingly, so if I do I have time to spend the night," said West.

Curious onlookers snapped pictures while some wondered how Golub was even allowed to pull off such a stunt.

"We were kind of wondering what it was for at first and then just kind of like wondering how he is allowed to do this and stuff like that," said local New Yorker Jessica.

The reason Golub is able to freely paint the model is because in New York state females are legally allowed to be topless in public if it is part of a performance.

However, later in the afternoon, the model, Zoe West, was arrested and taken into police custody after she removed her thong underwear. She was later released without being charged.

Golub was not arrested.