Nude Airplane Flight
In 2012 I embarked on a journey around the world to take nude self portraits in public washrooms and spaces. The idea stemmed from a photograph my mom took of my dad working nude at a table (I’d show the pic, but my dad would kill me). The infamous shot was taken before I was born in 1975 at my parent s apartment in Ontario. He showed me the photo when I was roughly 10 years old and it’s been in my mind ever since. His pose always makes me think of Rodin’s The Thinker, even though, judging by the smile on my dad’s face, it’s him horsing around without too much thinking involved.
I originally wanted to create art that paid homage to the greatest dad in the universe. My mom said he had some wild university days and that I inherited his wild side. So I thought the project should incorporate some hereditary craziness; A public nude performance photographic project that recreates The Thinker pose around the world on some of the finest toilets known to man. A tribute to toiletry, Rodin and most importantly, my dad.
The project began in Vancouver and then made it’s way to Manhattan. I wanted to have the first shoot inside the Museum of Modern Art, but it actually began on the flight from Vancouver to New York. I’ve always wanted to have sex on an airplane and become a part of the coveted “Mile High Club”, but that hasn’t happened yet. So I thought I would start my own naked airplane club.
Posing naked on an airplane isn’t as east as you think…unless your name is Brent Ray Fraser of course. Once the plane was up and the seat belt light was off, I decided to simply ask. I said to the flight attendant “I have a funny question to ask. I’m an artist who is working on a series of nude bathroom books and was hoping you wouldn’t mind helping me with them. The books show me posing nude in washrooms around the world. Would you mind taking a photo of me posing nude in your bathroom to start the project off”? The attendant was very excited to help me with this and said she would love to be the photographer. As long as I didn’t tell anyone what flight I was on. I agreed. She then suggested we take the photo right after she delivered the food to the passengers. That way they won’t be using the bathroom and we can take the photo without interruption. Made sense to me. So as soon as the food was out she came over asked if I was ready? I got up, walked to the back room and stripped down. The attendant blushed and we began the shoot. One standing, one sitting.
After we did the bathroom shots, she asked “Want to do some more?”. I obviously said yes. She then said “let’s get the other flight attendant to come help. I told her about you and she said she didn’t believe me”. Once I was introduced to the other flight attendant, they wanted me to pose naked sitting on the food cart, but I said no foolishly (I REALLY wish I said yes to that one). Instead, we did a few shots of me posing as if I was peeing on the exit door. We closed the curtains and had fun!
While we were doing the shoot, an elderly male passenger came to use the bathroom. He pulled aside the curtain and saw me posing with my bare ass like in the photo above. He said “OOPS Sorry!”. The attendants and I chuckled when he went into the bathroom and then we kept shooting. After we got the shot I wanted at the door, I asked the girls if they wouldn’t mind getting a final photo of me posing naked in the seats. They said “no problem”. So I walked naked to the nearest empty row of seats, sat down and posed like The Thinker.
At the end of the shoot, I sat down, gave the girls a few Brent Bucks so they could see who I was. I said thank you very much and took a nap.
What you don’t ask for, you don’t get;)
A special thanks to the two beautiful flight attendants on the anonymous air line.