Nudity, or nakedness, is the state of wearing no clothing. The wearing of clothing is a predominantly human characteristic arising from functional needs such as protection from the elements and from cold temperatures, after the loss of body hair, and migration to colder regions. The amount of clothing worn depends on functional considerations, such as a need for warmth, as well as social circumstances. In some situations, a minimum amount of clothing or none at all may be considered socially acceptable, while in others much more clothing may be expected. Social considerations involve issues of modesty, decency and social norms, besides other considerations, and these may depend on the context. There may also be legal considerations.
Public nudity, or nude in public (NIP), refers to nudity not in an entirely private context, that is, a person appearing nude in a public place or being able to be seen nude from a public place. Nudity on private property but where the general public is commonly free to enter, such as a shopping mall, public transport or swimming pool, is also considered public nudity. Nudity in the privacy of a person's home or grounds is not considered public nudity, nor is nudity at privately owned facilities where nudity commonly takes place, such as gymnasia, locker rooms, saunas, or specific nudist clubs or resorts. Naturism is a movement that promotes social nudity in nature, most but not all of which takes place on private property.
Nudity in art
Though depictions of nudity have been an aspect of art at all times, contemporary art has extended the use of nudity to non-traditional forms. For example:
Spencer Tunick's installations feature photographs of large numbers of nude people (up to 18,000) posed in artistic formations. In these formal images, the nude form becomes abstract due to the sheer number of people placed so closely together. For Tunick, the individual naked body is not important; it is the big group which becomes a "living sculpture" in the landscape.
San Francisco Bay area photographer Jack Gescheidt stages events as part of an ongoing series, called "The Tree Spirit Project". Charles MacFarland's films feature naked people in social settings. Locations include international naturist resorts and beaches.
Photographer Henning von Berg directs whimsical art happenings with small groups of completely naked people in public urban locations around the globe. While placing a few nude women and men at crowded landmarks in downtown metropolises, he is searching to capture the inter-action between the naked amateur models and the thousands of very surprised passers-by. Von Berg also organized the world’s only-ever male nude photo shoot inside a parliament building, while hundreds of speechless people surrounded the group of six amateur models.