California photographer Jack Gescheidt has offered the City Paper a first look at his work from a recent attention-grabbing nude photo shoot at the historic Angel Oak on Johns Island.

Gescheidt recently brought his lens, a documentary film crew, and nearly two dozen naked people to the centuries-old tree as part of his TreeSpirit Project. The photographer has spent the past few years pairing ancient and often threatened trees, which usually draw attention for their own splendor, with a dramatic draping of nude models.

The portraits provide an interesting intersection of art and activism. Gescheidt says the TreeSpirit mission is “to raise awareness of the critical role trees play in our lives, both globally—think global warming—and also personally—for the serenity, happiness and inspiration trees provide us on a daily basis.”

Environmentalists believe the small, isolated Angel Oak Park is being threatened by a nearby development that could impact the health of the tree and the overall experience for visitors.

The picture can be purchased, with the proceeds going toward future TreeSpirit projects. We’ll have more on the unique shoot later this week.

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.