Sagamore Hotel, Miami
October 8, 2007

Kendra's experience at The Sagamore:

Several weeks ago I happened to see a random news blip on WFTV website that Spencer Tunick was coming to Miami . Having waited the past ten years for an opportunity to participate, I was completely psyched. Waiting to hear whether I was accepted was the hardest part of the whole experience. I told everyone I knew to sign up, but only three others were brave enough to do it and we were all admitted. Contrary to some accounts, none of us sent in pictures, so at least with this shoot, he did not “hand select” the models.

It was an amazing experience. Totally “one of the things I want to do in this life” accomplished. I felt so badly for one of the first people that was admitted to the model area, as she tripped, hurt her ankle and an ambulance was called. She and her partner came SO close and had to leave.

Photo: John Van Beekum/Miami Herald

Photo: DPA
The Sagamore is a beautiful, art deco hotel. It is private property and Spencer Tunick used the balconies and pool area for the shoot. It was blocked off from the beach and other hotels by white sheets everywhere. But once on the balconies, well… other hotel balconies were packed with gawkers and those folks on the beach must have had a little extra excitement. Later in the day people were craning over ledges to see what was happening. As far as the participants, really only a handful of characters were there to show off or be obnoxious. Most of the 500 or so folks were really into what we were doing. It was the gamut of human existence, really. Pregnant women, older, younger, dark, light, gay, straight, men, women…. And what you wore in or drove in or what position you held in the world didn’t matter an ounce when you dropped your drawers and everyone was nekkid. I loved that more than anything!
There was a lot of time spent waiting as he did one shot or another, but all four of us got in the first “balcony” shot he did, and we’ve been able to pick ourselves out of the posted news photos. I was MOST grateful not to have been forever known as the dizzy redhead who fell over the balcony naked. That’s all I could think of when we had to stand on plastic chairs. Please don’t let me be a spectacle!

He did a huge pool shot of women on hot pink rafts and then one with men on neon green rafts, which none of the four of us did…. WAY too much time in the sun for me. It was a very interesting shot and certainly will be one of the most publicized, but it took forever to set up. I was able to hide out in the shade for most of the day.

We did a wonderful group shot at the end of the day that was centered around an outside pool bar and the balconies above. Everyone was given a bottle of champagne, and on cue we exploded them!!!  Talk about your imagery! That is sure to be my favorite.

Photo: John Van Beekum/Miami Herald

Photo: AP


I was so glad to be able to share this with my partner and friends. A little part of art and history, and a heck of an experience I will remember always. My 23 year old daughter is so proud of her mom that she announced it on her Facebook page.

The only thing I would have changed was the food and drink situation. There was very little drinking water available for the whole day and nothing to nosh on at all. They had advertised a Barbeque for the participants afterward, but it was a hot dog and a bag of chips at the end of the shoot. Some granola bars and bottles of water would have kept everyone’s bloodsugar up.

Finding it difficult to get back into the swing of the mundane today, with the air turning cooler and such a liberating, creative experience starting off the week, I could easily be a real bad girl and blow this popsicle stand!

Durrett writes:
Thank you for a great day!  To be a part of this artist’s work is amazing.
There was a moment when we were all floating on our rafts in the pool and not a word was being spoken by anyone, anywhere around.
All you could hear was the camera.
And you knew something incredible was happening.
Thank you!

From Jim:
My girlfriend and I were there for the Spencer Tunick Sagamore Miami Installation.  We are both thrilled that we were part of the experience.  A great mix of people for a great artist.

Rene writes:
My Venezuelan friends got to be part of the Tunick installation in Caracas, and they immediately informed me Spencer was coming to Miami.  I signed up as I would not want to miss this experience for the world!

There were people from all ages, races, cultural/ethnic backgrounds (this is Miami-you know...), and from all walks-of-life: airline crew members, lawyers, firefighter, nurses! Very diversed! As mentioned by another participant: what a great way to express freedom, when freedom is repressed in other parts of the world! It all went smooth and everyone cooperated.  I got to be part of one of the hotel balcony shots and the last shoot with the champagne bottles!

I'm hooked!  Now I want to be part of the next installation and I'm willing to travel to the next location!

From Corinna:
I was also at the Sagamore on Miami Beach and I had to drag my butt into work the following morning... I freelance in the art dept. at a local TV station in Miami and everyone was asking me how it all went - I'm now known as the nudist of the station!

I went by myself and this my first Tunick experience. It was a wonderful day, the weather cooperated with blue skies and puffy clouds. I was nervous at first, but all that ended quickly after I was fortunate enough to make it into the first balcony shoot. I met some wonderful people, and hung out with a married couple who lives in Miami and the "kiltguy" and his girlfriend who drove all the way from Illinois.

Photo by K.
What a blast I had. Time stood still for me and nothing in my normal life mattered. No worries... Although I didn't squeeze my way into the pink raft shoot, (which is what all the media is showing in the paper and TV), I did get into the first row of the champagne shoot and got thoroughly soaked when we all shook our bottles of champagne - lucky for all of us there was a pool right there and we all just jumped in and cooled off for a relaxing BBQ of hotdogs and chips. And at this point the clothes were off and staying off - everyone looked so happy and free.

Now that I got a taste of the Tunick experience, I can't wait for Art Basel exhibition and all that follows including the FIU Frost Museum exhibition. I graduated from FIU and exhibited a video installation in that very museum back in 1995 for my BFA. How cool it will be to be in an exhibition in that museum again 12 years later.

Martha M. writes:

Photo: John Van Beekum/Miami Herald
I was at the installation in Miami and had the best time of my life. I am known to my family and friends as the exhibitionist, so when I found out about this I was like "I am so there". I also love art so this was perfect for me. 

I found out about Mr. Tunick two years ago in an art appreciation class at MDC, I fell in love with his work. I was like wow how lucky these people are  in these beautiful pictures. You can imagine how I felt when I was notified. 

The weather was awesome and everybody that was there - big, small, short and tall - we were all beautiful. The artist made sure that he focused on everyone it wasn't about one person it was a group effort. I met a gentleman that was 76 years old. He said he has been taking of his clothes for 50 years. Wow if only everyone had that confidence. 

I was lucky to be part of the setup with the pink rafts in the pool and I was kneeling in the champagne shoot in the front row. I
was also invited to do the shoot in the morning inside the lobby. I am so happy to be part of ART HISTORY. I met a lot of interesting people and I will take this Tunick Experience with me forever. I can't wait for the exhibition during Art Basel so I can show off.

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