Going on a hunt for nudity seems a bit of a risque stretch for Watson Adventures, the company who organize recreational scavenger hunts at museums and other public institutions, normally of the much more straight-laced “murder mystery” variety. And truth be told, the hunt for “Naked at the Getty” on Saturday played out in a far more PG-13 manner than you might initially expect; as part of Watson’s trickily worded, occasionally deceptive 30-question “hunt” there would be no tallying of bare breasts involved, though curiously there was a least one question each asking for a count on a particular gallery's centaurs and/or decapitations. Ew!
The Getty Center proved an especially fun and picturesque setting for one of Watson's team-based games of empirical quizzing, not to mention practical; those big, widely spaced gallery floors really lend themselves to darting back and forth frantically scanning an exhibit for clues, without necessarily having to get in the way of one’s fellow patrons who are trying to appreciate the art simply to read the placard on the one you think holds the key to Question #22. Still, it’s a bit of an obstacle course, especially when you have chuckling guards in a few rooms who are either all too willing to help, or being ornery and misdirecting if you ask them for help. All in good fun, though.
If there was one drawback to the evening’s festivities, though not without its own power to awe and distract from the game afoot, it was the arid smoky air and eerie, hazy sunset rays cast across the Getty’s clifftop location. Once let loose by Watson’s crew to begin the two-hour hunt, various players without a minute to waste were nevertheless tempted to linger and watch a blood-red sun set in the horizon; when moving back and forth through the various buildings, a moment’s respite was hard to catch with arid gusts that smelled as though someone had left a backyard grill burning in every direction.