LONDON, April 21 (Xinhua) -- The 3,200 people who agreed to go nude to celebrate Hull's year as Britain's City of Culture were Friday given a preview of an exhibition of the day they stripped naked in the name of art.
Reflecting Hull's maritime history, the stunning and hugely anticipated images from artist Spencer Tunick's "Sea of Hull" project are being shown for the very first time.
Participants from across the world painted their skin with blue body paint and took part in the largest ever nude installation in Britain in July 2016.
Three of the Sea of Hull photographs will join the high quality permanent collection at the Ferens Art Gallery, in Hull, whilst the Friends of the Ferens are to raise money for a fourth work to be chosen by the public.
Councillor Terry Geraghty, chair of Hull Culture and Leisure, said: "This bold and ambitious exhibition is one of the gallery's major highlights for 2017.
"The scale and quality of the work on display as part of SKIN reinforces the gallery's ambition to present new, contemporary work alongside its stunning permanent collection aiming to attract new audiences to the gallery."
Kirsten Simister, Curator of Art at Ferens Art Gallery, said: "We're really looking forward to the public reaction given the amazing response we had to the Spencer Tunick installation last year. Hopefully we can recreate something of the same sense of excitement.
"The team have worked incredibly hard to deliver this exhibition and it is fantastic to have seen the idea through from Hull's bid for City of Culture made four years ago. Now the ambition has become a reality and we hope everyone who visits SKIN will enjoy it."
Tunick has described hi Sea of Hull installation as one of the most fantastic projects he has ever done.
The Sea of Hull photographs form part of a major exhibition at the Ferens Art Gallery which will run until Aug. 13.
The exhibition will also feature major works by artists Lucian Freud and Ron Mueck.
Mueck's work is being in the city for the first time as part of Hull's culture year celebrations.
Four paintings by German born British painter, Lucian Freud, consider one of the world's greatest realist painters, have been loaned to the gallery for the exhibition.
At the center of the exhibition is Edouard Manet's historic and ground-breaking preparatory study for Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe (1862-63). Manet's painting of a nude woman seated with clothed men scandalised 19th century audiences, creating a turning point in the history of art.
A spokeswoman for the exhibition said: "Comparisons between Spencer Tunick and Manet have been drawn in the past, as the issue of public nudity central to the latter's study, remains a taboo even today. Despite such challenges, Tunick has become famous for organising large-scale nude photo-shoots across the world, having completed over 75 major installations since 1994."
The Ferens is regarded as one of the finest regional art galleries in Britain with a collection of works by renowned artists from the 14th century to the present day. The city run gallery has undergone its biggest refurbishment program to enable it to play a leading role in Hull's City of Culture year. later this year it will host the famous Turner Prize event.
Kingston upon Hull, usually abbreviated to Hull, is a city and unitary authority in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is 40 km inland from the North Sea, with a population of 259,000.
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