Nude model sues over false arrest

Nude Model Zoe West Arrested during a public body painting exhibition by Andy Golub

Photographs from What’s on Chengdu

Andy Golub Paints Nudes… literally. He applies paint to nude bodies, usually live – making the public a part of his work. Last year he utilized Times square for public body painting and came under fire for his sense of completeness. you see, to Golub nothing but complete nudity will do. his mission, like mine, is to desexualize and demystify the nude and largely his work has gone unchallenged for years on the streets of New York. New York has laws against public nudity, however nudity involved in “entertaining or performing in a play, exhibition, show or entertainment.” is exempt. Knowing his medium and location, Golub had worked with his lawyer and the NYPD to ensure that his models not be arrested for their nudity, however brief. Or so he thought..

The Model in question, Zoe West, was arrested on August 30, just after she removed her thong for the final part of the process. The models always leave their thongs on until the end and the painting process is very fast so that it’s minutes if not seconds of exposure.

“The New York State Legislature has granted local authorities the right to pass local laws to further restrict public nudity, but the City of New York has passed no such laws,” the complaint states. “Indeed, the City of New York regularly authorizes film companies to engage in nude film shoots in public spaces in the city. Hence, plaintiff was arrested for a crime that does not exist.”

West says three unidentified officers cuffed her anyway without giving her a chance to cover up.

The complaint continues: “Photographers and onlookers snapped her picture as Ms. West, clad only in colorful paint and metallic cuffs, was escorted through Times Square and into a police vehicle by Does 1-3.

“She was transported to the Midtown South Precinct, where she was forced to stand in front of a desk in the lobby of the precinct, still unclothed, for approximately fifteen minutes. Several officers gawked at her as she stood there, humiliated.

“At some point, a female police officer returned Ms. West’s clothing and brought her to a room where she was permitted to dress. As soon as Ms. West was dressed, the female officer searched her, patting her down.

“Ms. West had been at the precinct for approximately two hours when Sgt. Fusaro came into the juvenile delinquents’ room, where Ms. West was being held, and told her she was free to leave. Without apology or an explanation, Fusaro removed the handcuffs from Ms. West and she was released. No charges were filed against her.

via Courthouse News Service.

Zoe West is now sueing for false arrest and municipal liability.

I wonder, as the Nudity appears the issue, why Sgt. Fusaro or one of the 3 John Doe officers did not provide a blanket or a jacket. continuing to maintain the model in her “offensive state” shows a lack of sensitivity but also a lack of understanding about the issues. if he had covered her up it would have reinforced his message and arrest, by leaving her nude he created more of a martyred figure, tragic and sympathetic. I don’t understand his behavior in this as it seems to run counter to his purpose. I understand Sgt. Fusaro probably did not apologize because an apology would constitute a legal admission of guilt, but I think his behavior was appalling throughout and I hope she is successful in her suit.

I haven’t heard if Golub intends to sue as well, I do know he has continued and will continue to create art on live canvasses throughout New York and I hope that his work is untroubled in the future.

2 thoughts on “Nude model sues over false arrest

  1. So this woman gets arrested for being painted nude in public, but the Wall Street bankers that brought about the last economic crisis are still free. It seems to me that society has its priorities a bit mixed up!

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