It's all very well seeing Naked New York
and Naked Los Angeles
, but Naked London
? Puh-leese. As the world knows, the Brits are born with every button buttoned, never happier than when every extremity's covered (gloves, goloshes, balaclava) And that's what everyone told Greg Friedler as he was pondering the wisdom of trying out his bestselling US gimmick here. But Friedler found his naked people--about 70 of them, of all ages and all occupations (including, wonderfully, "Lap Dancing Entrepreneur")--and no doubt Naked London
will find its audience.
The format is simple and unchanging. A person is photographed in their everyday clothing, in front of the blandest of settings. Then they're photographed there again, naked. The two pictures are put side by side, above a caption that gives merely an occupational description and an age. According to Friedler these are "naked" people rather than "nude" figures--he's looking for a truth that he doesn't find in fashion photography, erotica or pornography. Some may disagree--it's possible to find his nameless subjects both alienated and alienating--but there's no question that he does force the viewer to rethink their notion of nakedness. And in his introduction, there's an outsider's pertinent insight into that particular British hypocrisy that bans hardcore pornography while plastering its tabloids with topless models. --Alan Stewart