Real Good Nudes for Art Fans in London
Glitter, flash and a little bit of nudity -- it was all there for the star-studded opening of art collector and advertising legend Charles Saatchi's new London gallery on Tuesday.
Although Saatchi himself was noticeably absent, girlfriend Nigella Lawson, the culinary personality and author of "Nigella Bites," was noticeably present, PEOPLE's London bureau reports.
So were some 1,000 others, including Minnie Driver, Jeremy Irons, Jade Jagger, singer Gwen Stefani with husband Gavin Rossdale, and model Jerry Hall with photographer David Bailey -- all to get a first glimpse of Saatchi's collection of Young British Art, which included works by Tracy Emin, Damien Hirst and Marcus Harvey.
The gallery's gala opening was not without controversy. Hirst, for example, was quoted as calling Saatchi's gallery "pointless" and "a waste of time," and did not attend the opening.
Some of the exhibit's more famous pieces were Emin's "My Bed," which features an unmade bed full of cigarette butts and vodka bottles, and a decaying shark by Hirst.
But the spotlight of the evening went to artist Spencer Tunick, 35, who arranged one of his well-known nude photographic landscapes on the patio by the gallery's Thames river entrance. Tunick, who has organized more than 50 group nudes in cities around the world since 1994, flew in from New York for the task.
At dusk, more than 100 naked volunteers shed their clothes and arranged themselves in formation by the river for a quick photo, much to the entertainment of partygoers. Afterward, the nude "guests" mingled with the crowd.
Jade Jagger, who stood by during the unusual photo shoot, was later photographed with one such unclothed guest.
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