Expose Yourself to the Arts - The Ballerina and the Naked Man

Expose Yourself to the Arts - The Ballerina and the Naked Man

Craig BrownMay 19, '16

This great photo was taken in the winter of 1997 by Sioux Falls photographer Robert (Bobbi) Gripp. Known more for his drumming in recent years with various jazz combos around the Sioux Falls area, Bob is also a fine photographer.


He approached local ballerina Christine Kirk about serving as the model for this posed shot. Christine leaped at the opportunity to have a little fun with the setting. The title of the photo is self-evident, of course.


One small feature that was pointed out only years later by Bob was his intentional inclusion of the backward-facing park bench on the right side of the photo. As the subject of much local consternation and moral outrage over the “naked man in the park” statue, it seems that the city bowed to local pressures to make it inconvenient for art lovers to enjoy the statue. In this case, they mounted the bench so that a nature lover could cast their gaze conveniently at a nearby parking ramp, rather than the artwork loved and adored by millions around the world.


Since this photo was taken, the statue has been removed from the park, put to rest in a city maintenance shed and finally restored to a re-configured park arrangement. With no bench at all.