Spencer Tunick returning to Dead Sea for photo shoot—with clothed models


Photographer Spencer Tunick, who is known for his shots of nudes modeling in masses, is returning to Israel's Dead Sea for another shoot — with clothed models.

Tunick will photograph a floating event on Friday that is aimed at raising awareness of the Dead Sea's shrinking shores.

The event is sponsored by Save Our Sea, a group of activists suffering from skin diseases such as psoriasis who rely on the Dead Sea waters and mud for treatment and relief, according to Bloomberg News.

More than 1,000 Israelis modeled nude for a photo installation by Tunick at the Dead Sea in a session a year ago. The volunteers modeled in the sea, on the shore and covered in Dead Sea mud.

“I am happy to return to the Dead Sea one year after the series of photographs I took in this unique location,” he said in a statement. “The Dead Sea deserves rehabilitation and protection both on the local and the international levels. I call on everyone, local and international activists, to join us to create a critical mass of citizens of the world who are concerned over the deterioration of this natural wonder.”

Tunick also is in Israel to receive the Green Globe Award given by Life and Environment, Israel's umbrella organization for its environmental groups.

Fla. candidate accused of being atheist (and nudist): ‘I am Jewish’


A candidate in an Orlando-area primary is disputing claims in a flier mailed to voters that he is a nudist and an atheist.

Jeffrey Goldmacher, who is running in Tuesday’s Republican primary for the Osceola County Commission, said he lives on a “clothing optional resort” at the Cypress Cove Resort and Spa in Poinciana, not a “nudist colony.”

“Only lepers and ants live in colonies,” Goldmacher, 56, told the Orlando Sentinel.

The retiree disputed the claims that he is an atheist by saying he is Jewish and that he won’t promote nudism as a commissioner.

“I am Jewish,” he told the Sentinel. “I just don’t belong to a temple or a synagogue. I practice my religion in my own way.”

The mailer, sent by the Florida-based group With Women We Will Win, asks voters to “say yes to decency and no to nudism and atheism on our county commission.” The organization’s Facebook page says it supports women candidates for office, according to the Sentinel. Goldmacher is running against two men.

Goldmacher, a first-time candidate, says he’s not sure if the mailer will cost him votes.

“At least there’s one candidate who believes in transparency,” he told an audience during a recent forum, the Miami New Times reported. “I have nothing to hide and no place to hide it.”

Red tape imperils naked photo shoot at Dead Sea


A planned photo shoot of some 1,000 naked Israelis is in jeopardy after the regional council where the event is to be held said it had not given its authorization.

American photographer Spencer Tunick is set to photograph the installation Sept. 17 to raise international awareness of the condition of the Dead Sea, which is rapidly receding. Tunick’s website directs viewers to vote for the Dead Sea in the New7Wonders of Nature contest.

More than 3,000 Israelis signed up to participate in the project; one-third of those were invited to participate.

The exact location of the shoot has not been made public due to fears that protesters would upset the event. Tunick has said that he would like his naked subjects floating in the Dead Sea to be covered in its beneficial black mud.

No permits were requested for the event, Dov Litvinoff, head of the Tamar Regional Council, told Israeli media. Several religious lawmakers also have condemned the project.

Tunick has photographed installations of large groups of nude people In 75 locations throughout the world.

Lucian Freud, noted British artist, dies


Lucian Freud, one of Britain’s most noted artists, has died at the age of 88.

Freud, who was a grandson of Sigmund Freud, the pioneering figure of psychoanalysis, died at his London home on Wednesday.

Born in Berlin in 1922, the future artist fled with his family to England at the age of 10 after Hitler took power in 1933.

A figurative painter, he was famed for his portraits and paintings of nudes.

“The vitality of (Freud’s) nudes, the intensity of the still life paintings and the presence of his portraits of family and friends guarantee Lucian Freud a unique place in the pantheon of late 20th Century art,” said Nicholas Serota, the director of the Tate Gallery in London. “His early paintings redefined British art and his later works stand comparison with the great figurative painters of any period.”

Jamie Sneider’s ‘Jewish Woman’ ain’t your bubbe’s 2009 calendar [VIDEO]



Jamie Sneider's calendar, the video


Cheesecake might be a crowd-pleaser when it comes to desserts, but for calendars the appeal is slightly more limited.

The trend that started with barely there pinups in World War II has become so acceptable in recent years that it's served as a fundraising vehicle for various charities, inspiring the PG-13 film, “Calendar Girls.” These racy, tongue-in-cheek calendars are also an inspiration for Jamie Sneider, whose photos appear on every page of the “Jamie Sneider: Year of the Jewish Woman” calendar for 2009.

Most of the photos feature Sneider, dressed in bikini bottoms, swapping her top for matzah balls, challahs, bagels, black-and-white cookies and other culinary Jewish favorites. In addition to filled champagne flutes for New Year's Day and Chinese takeout boxes and movie popcorn for Christmas, the calendar also takes an irreverent approach to the Jewish holidays, including Tu B'Shevat (two seedlings) and a strategically placed etrog and lulav for Sukkot.

“I wanted to celebrate the Jewish woman in a way that we might not think of her, but to also celebrate the religion in a unique way … and to get a couple chuckles,” Sneider said.

In contrast to Hollywood producer Adam Cohen's “Nice Jewish Guys 2009,” featuring marriageable professionals with their clothes on, Sneider doesn't portray a nice Jewish gal as much as she does a nice Jewish stripper. Still, the for-profit calendar and its more than 60 images were carefully planned to assure the accuracy of each religious reference.

“Even though it's a comedic calendar, it could not be amateur. It had to look professional and beautiful,” she said.

The total cost to produce 1,000 calendars and several posters — $18,000.

The money was a family investment, she said. Her parents were a little surprised but were ultimately happy that Sneider “was getting back into [her] religion in a unique way.”

Unique is definitely the word. The month of March features a classic Purim charm: two groggers and a poppyseed hamantaschen that requires a double-take. April offers Sneider as human seder plate with a sexually provocative question for the second night: “Guess where I hid the afikomen?”

The calendar also includes Hebrew dates, religious holidays (some secular included), a glossary of Jewish terminology and the weekly Torah portion.

A native of Wayland, Mass., Sneider isn't just skin, bones and baked goods. She earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts with honors from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts at the Experimental Theatre Wing, has worked as an actress for “Late Night With Conan O'Brien” and performed solo shows throughout New York City.

Shortly before leaving New York, she started a humor blog, Reluctantly Moving to L.A., which she still maintains, even though she now resides happily in Los Angeles.

The blog was actually the starting point for the calendar, Sneider said. After receiving an overwhelmingly positive response to her photos, she decided to make her idea a reality. Since the release of her calendar in mid-October, Sneider has made a television appearance on the KTLA “Morning Show” and done a radio interview on Sirus' Playboy Radio channel.

Although “Jewish Woman” will undoubtedly offend people, Sneider doesn't think it crosses a sacrilegious line.

“We only used symbols of celebration as opposed to religious items for the photo shoots. If anything, it's an ode to my religion and completely expresses my love of Judaism,” Sneider said. “Hopefully, this calendar can encourage people to express their identity more openly.”

For more information about the “Jamie Sneider: Year of the Jewish Woman,” visit

VIDEO: Israel tries to sex up its image


Britains’ Sky News reports from Tel Aviv on an Israeli advertising campaign to sex up its image.