Body painter Andy Golub has been attracting crowds in Times Square by using topless women as canvases. In New York, women are allowed to be topless in public. However, on July 30, Golub was arrested for public lewdness charges when two of his models were completely naked on the street. According to New York Penal Law, a person is guilty of public lewdness when he intentionally exposes the private or intimate parts of his body in a lewd manner. It is a class B misdemeanor. He is also guilty if “he promotes the exposure of a person when knowingly he conducts, maintains, owns, manages, operates or furnishes any public premise or place where a person in a public place appears in such a manner that the private or intimate parts of his body are unclothed or exposed.
Golub has been quoted as saying that “What I do is an extension of what I do in the studio… Sharing it with the public is a great experience.” In August, Golub avoided an arrest by putting his model in a g-string. Public’s reaction to the public performance revealed that the viewers were less prudish than the police and underscored the black letter law that the enforcement officers are unable to tell what is offensive in a sexual way and what is art — that decision is better left to the fact finder.