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Full Disclothesure: Natalia Del Rio at Basement 6
By Feb 9, 2017 Arts

TELL EVERYONE

Arts lair Basement 6 celebrates current artist-in-residence Natalia del Rio this week by way of a drink and draw event this evening, followed by her one-night-only solo taking place this Saturday. Called Full Disclothesure, it documents an ongoing project that sees the Mexican/American artist travel the world to photograph individuals of all backgrounds, in the buff, in their bathrooms. We caught up with Natalia to talk body acceptance, international bathroom trends, and the confidence that comes with baring all…

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Natalia del Rio

First up, what is Full Disclothesure exactly?



Full Disclothesure is an international photography project that centers on self-acceptance of body image and sexuality. It focuses on the cultural differences and taboos surrounding the topic in each country. The project started in Paris in 2013 and seeks to achieve a global awareness on the impact culture and media impose on our road to self-acceptance. The project originally started off with only the LGBT community, but talking to friends I realized that this is a prevalent issue in all of our lives.


Natalia del Rio, Full Disclothesure

The body-positive message of photographing everyday folk in the nude is clear - but why bathrooms?



I shoot in bathrooms because it is literally and metaphorically a place for self reflection. We constantly look at ourselves in the mirror, judging what we do and don’t like about our own reflection. It's somewhere we are very vulnerable and alone with our own thoughts. I think we do a lot of growing up in the bathroom, without even realizing it.

It’s also cool to see the differences in how the bathroom looks in each country. Some have bucket showers, some have tubs, others have bidets. It’s a chance to see an intimate space in different parts of the world, and what that space comprises according to countries and culture.

So who are your subjects? Do you impose any criteria?



The only criteria is that they have to be of legal age to participate. So, 18 years old.

And what motivates people to get involved?



I find participants by talking to people as I’m traveling, then they might tell a friend… People participate for various reasons. Some just like the idea of being part of an international project. For others, it’s to challenge themselves, to take steps towards accepting and loving their bodies.


Natalia del Rio, Full Disclothesure

For that second group it’s a big, brave move, no?



It's pretty crazy. For the most part, usually you are only showing your bare self to a romantic partner, and the idea that you are able to let yourself show, literally, your true self, to someone - me - in a non-romantic way says a lot about someone’s self-love and confidence. I've had people cry when they see their photos because it was such a big step for them.

You’ve traveled three continents to date - are some places more open to your project than others?



In general, Asia and the US were really hard in terms of getting participants and support. In the USA you’re allowed to show people getting murdered - but, oh, no, you can't show a nipple on TV! It's crazy! Europe is easier because they understand that the body is a natural thing that we shouldn't be ashamed of. It's amazing how you see the cultural differences, and it shows in the pictures.


Natalia del Rio, Full Disclothesure

What’s been your most memorable shoot so far?



It would have to be an Argentinian girl I shot in Cambodia. I met her, and after two minutes - literally, two minutes - she was in the bathroom. It never happens that fast; usually there is always some sort of convincing to be done from my side. She was singing, dancing and just radiating so much self-love: she literally embodied what this whole project is all about.

So, where next?



Next is Philippines and India. The goal is to shoot in every country, with at least one local participant in each. I’m looking for funding, and the plan is to exhibit in most major cities internationally.

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If you’re Chinese and interested in baring all to Natalia and being part her global body positive mission, drop her a line ASAP. There’s still spots left for tonight’s live model sketch sesh - message anneliesecharek [at] gmail.com to reserve a space. It's free, with donations going straight to the model.

TELL EVERYONE

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