Melbourne backdrop for huge nude artwork

Benita Kolovos

World-renowned artist Spencer Tunick is visiting Melbourne and plans to fill one of the city's most famous streets with naked people, no matter the weather.

The New York-based artist last visited Australia in 2010, photographing thousands of naked people on the steps of the Sydney Opera House, but this time he plans to use Chapel Street as his canvas over two days in July.

Tunick says he is looking forward to working with Melburnians again, noting a mass nude photo shoot he did on the city's Princes Bridge on a wet day in 2001.

"Almost 5000 people coming in the rain to want to be part of an artwork is phenomenal," he said in a video, released on Monday.

"People from Melbourne are a little braver because of their willingness to pose no matter the weather. I get a sense of resilience and risk-taking."

Tunick called on models over the age of 18 and of "any shape, any size, any nationality, any ethnicity" to participate.

"Of course, I'd like the 5000 people who already participated many years ago to register, but I think we also need new blood and new experiences," he said.

And like his 2001 shoot, the July date will go ahead no matter the weather.

"If you're worried about the cold, don't be, because participants will not be naked for long periods of time," Chapel Street marketing spokeswoman Chrissie Maus said.

The photographs will be included in a collection titled 'Return of the Nude,' which Tunick hopes will help remove the idea of the body depicted as a "glorified celebrity".