Models in front of the Guggenheim Museum, left, and the Manhattan Bridge, right, in New York. (Photos by Trina Merry via AP)

In New York City, public nudity is legal as part of a performance or an exhibition. Artist Trina Merry is thus free to do her thing: Paint images of landmarks on nude models on public streets. The body is her canvas.

“I’m doing it because I just moved and this is kind of my way of connecting with the city, and trying to understand it a little bit better,” she told the Associated Press.


Merry is no newcomer to body painting. While working under her mentor Craig Tracy, the two created a Fiat 500 out of humans for an advertisement in the 2009 ESPN Body Issue. Before moving to New York, Merry made painted “human motorcycles” for the International Motorcycle Roadshow. The result is quite stunning, She told the Huffington Post, “I wanted to take the idea of a beautiful woman and the motorbike and turn it on its head by making the bike from the bodies of the models.”

Here’s a look behind the scenes:


In this July 29, 2014 photo, artist Trina Merry stoops as she paints model Jessica Mellow in view of the Manhattan Bridge in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Merry creates remarkable images that seamlessly camouflage her mostly nude models into New York City’s skyline, blending them into the details of the Empire State Building, the Manhattan Bridge, Central Park and other famous landmarks. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) Artist Trina Merry paints model Jessica Mellow in view of the Manhattan Bridge in the Brooklyn. (Bebeto Matthews/AP)

Merry’s models must stand in place for hours as she carefully makes sure the angles are correct. It takes her about six hours to complete a painting, though she said her biggest problem is interruptions — cars, rain or inquisitive members of the public or the NYPD.

A police officer talks to artist Trina Merry, left, after receiving a complaint about her painting a semi-nude model, Jessica Mellow, right, under the Manhattan Bridge in the Brooklyn. (Rachelle Blidner/AP)