James Curran


The few couple hours I was worried if I'd be painted at all. I wasn't in the first shift being painted, and had to wait until an artist was finished. I believe I was the last person painted that day. As it was, it was so close to the end of the painting period, two artists decided to collaborate on me, with Alicia Cobb painting my front, and Michelle Syfert Weis painting my back. Neither had ever "shared a body" with another artist before, and they hadn't met before that day, but one just said "How 'bout a Native American theme" and they went off. Whenever a tourist asked to take my picture, I made sure they took one of each side.

When we were in Times Square, I spotted a family of tourists huddled around a map. Normally, being the helpful local I am, I jump in and ask if they are lost --- I thought about doing that with this family while I was naked and painted, but the bus was about to leave, so I let the opportunity pass, but I still wonder what their reaction would have been.

It was also fun to watch the reactions of people who saw us on the bus. Most NYers just let the bus pass without ever looking up, but those who did generally fell into two categories: Some would suddenly get frantic, jumping and yelling and waving. Others would just freeze --literally with their jaws dropped and their eyes bulging. It looked a bit like something out of a cartoon.