This Man Strips Naked In Front Of Famous Paintings

"I’m very proud of being crazy," says the performance artist.

When most people encounter a beautiful work of art, they stare. Adrián Pino Olivera, a performance artist based in Barcelona, is more likely to strip.

DEJÉUNER (Musée d'Orsay, Paris, 22/07/17). photo by @toni_molins. #proyectov

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“I stand naked in front of famous artworks and symbolically castrate my genitals and imitate the body of Venus, to whom I dedicate this project,” Olivera explains in a new episode of Just Me, a short documentary series from Zoomin TV.

The 28-year-old artist was just a child when he first discovered a photo of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus in an art book.

MONA (Musée du Louvre, París, 22/01/17). photo by Ernest Burés. #proyectov

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“I found love in that painting,” he recalls. “And that was something I needed at that time, and that’s what I constantly look for in the feminine.”

“My project is not political, it’s purely aesthetic. I want to transmit beauty.”

SIRENITA (Langelinie Park, Copenhagen, 22/12/17). photo by @toni_molins. #proyectov

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His ambitious performance piece, entitled Project V, consists of 22 acts of public nudity in 22 months at major European museums. Project V launched March 2017 and will conclude this December.

Olivera says the only time he considered abandoning the risky project was when he was arrested and detained for 24 hours after mooning the Mona Lisa at the Louvre.

MAJA (Museo del Prado, Madrid, 22/06/17). photo by @jetbruhl. #proyectov

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While Project V has its own admirers, Olivera knows his style isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

“I like the haters,” he says, “because they represent all the prejudices, and all the violence against people who express what society punishes, which is the feminine. Women have been historically punished, as well as men who express their feminine side. Because our society is sexist and patriarchal.”

LÁCTEA (National Gallery, Londres, 22/05/17). photo by @jetbruhl. #proyectov

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Olivera describes being bullied in school for his artistic nature, appearance, sexuality, and because he was “more sensitive than society’s idea of how a boy should be.” He ultimately channeled that distress into his art, which he describes as “beauty and freedom against horror.”

“I’m not a normal person, because I haven’t made normal decisions in my life,” he says. “And I’m very proud of being crazy.”

Celebrity interviewer. Foodie and Broadway buff in Manhattan. Hates writing bios.