Shungaboy: a nude artist and his men's naked drawing group
Every other week, a group of men get together to draw each other in New York -- with no clothes.
Shungaboy is a nude artist based in New York and founder of the Men's Naked Drawing Group. Every two weeks, professional and amateur artists gather at a studio in SoHo to draw each other in non-traditional ways.
The first time Shungaboy posed naked for an artist, he realized it was fun. He decided to combine his passion for art and nudism and created a group where other professionals and amateurs could explore the male figure in non-traditional ways.
It's been one year since the first meetup event. Now, he says the Men's Naked Drawing Group in NY has more than 300 affiliates - and keeps growing. They meet every other week at a studio in SoHo.
As soon as the members sign in, they choose whether they'll want to pose or not. Poses can be solo, duo or trio, taking from 5 to 20 minutes. Sessions are limited to 20 artists and cost $15.
Shunga -- as his friends call him -- is an ambiguous character. While being shy about his body for his whole life, he decided to fight it getting naked. While being very open about his lifestyle and sexuality, he opposes to reveal his real name and age.
Shunga is a Japanese term for erotic art. As a japanese descent, he thought it could be an interesting name for the new identity he was creating.
"Like Madonna, or Picasso," he said.
He grew up with the shadow of prejudice. Being a japanese gay man, he said he felt persecuted by society, even by the gay community. His escape was art, and lately, nudism.
"When you remove that barrier of the layer of clothing, everyone is equal," he said.
More about him:
I've been shy about my body for all my life.
I realized that nudity was a positive thing when I posed for another artist. It took me a little bit of time for me to embrace a separate identity, but as I developed my art, it created a new persona for me.
My group is a group of male artists who get together, and we pose for each other to do drawings and paintings of the male figure.
No photography of people without permission, no sexual activity anywhere in the building other than as part of a pose. When you're not posing, erections are natural and ok, but stroking is not.
We're not just getting naked for the sake of nakedness, but we're exploring art. We're certainly not an orgie, I make it very clear that we're not a hookup place.
Nudity is nothing to be ashamed of, it's something to celebrate.
We've gone from zero to over 300 members in one year and a lot of the drawing sessions are way oversold.
I don't know how far this can go. I'd love to do these sessions in Europe or in other cities in the United States. I think I'm amongst the beginning of some sort of movement.