BodyPainting, is the art of using a male or female, live human body, as the canvas for the painting, of a non-permanent decorative art piece. Body painting also has the added pressure on the artist that the "canvas" cannot wait for days while the artist relaxes or looks for further inspiration.
A body painting session is normally completed and photographed within a day. The model is then free to wash off the art piece. The only remaining record, left behind; the photographs and memories of the event. The artist Craig Tracy featured in the photos below has created a unique gallery for the images of such events.
This picture and the following 2 in the series, plus the picture entitled "Stripes" is kindly supplied by the up and coming body artist Craig Tracy. You can find more of his work on the site www.paintedalive.com
The models normally pose nude or with scant covering over their private parts. The women models breasts are either painted nude or with nipple covers, that make the breast appear more flat and hence appear less exposed. A brand called Prosheild is used for breasts and female private parts (yet non are available for the male models yet) Sometimes stretch clothing or or even liquid latex is used as a base covering. The human canvas is then painted in a variety of ways.
This picture for the New Orleans Mardi Gras reminded me of an idea I saw for a Mardi Gras Party.
Every year the body painting community gathers in Austria and (this year:2008), now also in South Korea for the World Bodypainting Festival. The pro's and painters new to body painting, come from around the globe to wonder at the creative genius and artistic explosion that takes place at the festival. The pressure on the top artists is intense, as they battle for top honours in the various disiplines of the art.
At the world championships during the main days in Austria artists from 40 nations worldwide compete.
The world awards are given in 3 main categories
- Airbrush and
- Special effects, as well as one
- World Fluoro Award, the night contest for UV effects
Additionally there will be semi-professional contests in the categories
The themes for 2008 are:
"Science - World of Wonders" and
"Asia - Empires going - Empires growing"
At the festival the artistic disciplines of, bodypainting, photography, modeling and special effects all come together.
This year the “World Bodypainting Photo Award” will be given in the categories “Photo print” and “Digital Art” and is also awarded with cash and product prizes. Additionally the winners get, (like the artists), a wonderful, handmade glass trophy, which is specially produced for the festival.
In March the World Bodypainting Festival announced that they will hold a second event in Asia. This event with the same structure as Seeboden, Austria will be held from 25 - 31 August in the World Cup Stadium in Daegu, South Korea.
Airbrush, or paintbrush and sponge are used to paint the subject. The most common paints used are face paints or professional make-up, of various brands.
In 2007 the World Body Painting Festival' saw the coveted title of World Champion go to Carolyn Roper. The competition takes place over three days, with 120 artists from more than forty countries paint their models in a series of themes chosen by the championship organisers. The 2007 themes were “The Year 2525” and “Chaos and Control” and the competitors had to create a unique design to impress a panel of experienced international judges.
The judges award points to each artist based on the originality of their interpretation of the theme, the painting techniques used, choice of colours and the degree of complexity of realising their design. Points from each days painting are accumulated for each artist’s final score.
As Carolyn puts it, "I painted with good friend and fellow artist Carly Utting. After 6 hours of painting on Day 1 of the competition, we were thrilled to be in first place. The pressure was really on for the Finals Day and after another 6 hours of painting we fought off tough opposition from America, Canada and Germany to maintain our first place and clinch the title of World Body Painting Champions, 2007".
In some cases special effects are used
to transform the art form into a totally different shape and object. Other special techniques
include the use of glowing paints, that glow different colours under UV lights. Glitter, glowing powders,
metallics and sticks are also commonly used.
There is a merging of many art disciplines into a creative explosion that often creates a big impact. Many elements and art forms are mixed together; nudity, face painting, elements of theatre and drama, costume design, film, photography, special effects and graphic art. This creates a risky, sometimes shocking, other times beautiful, impact on the viewers of this intriguing art form. The uses of the medium are varied and range from parties and functions, to high powered corporate product launches.
The beauty of God's creation in the human form comes together with the artists painting to form a strikeing image of beauty and colour that in many instances is wonderful to behold.
The website Amitbar Body art shows a tasteful gallery of beautiful body paintings and art
Late night venues and clubs parade the deviant side of the UV and glowing nude figures. The art form also seems to share common ground with other art forms like tattooing, that also use the human form as a canvas. Body artists promote the idea of self esteeme and also seek to promote an appreciation of the human body form, plus an appreciation for the art work of each other.
A website that demonstrates a varied and high standard of bodypainting work, particularly in the special FX arena is Bodypaintingcrew.com of berlin Germany. The Bodypaintingcrew.com body painting website
Mark placed 6th in the World Bodypainting Competition in Seeboden, Austria, July 2007
As Mark explains "My face painting career started in 1994 as a hobby at small festivals using acrylic paints. In 2002 at a festival in Grapevine, TX, I made the acquaintance of another face painter, Judy Kubik, who introduced me to professional make-up. At that time I had no idea how profoundly this would change my life. Since then I have held the position of lead painter and art director for Living Color in Dallas and have done live demos on Channel 8 in New York at the Great New York State Fair and on FOX 4 in Dallas at the Texas State Fair. I was a featured Artist in the Face and Body Painting International Magazine Vol 9 in 2004 and won “Best Over All” at the International Face and Body Art Convention in Orlando. I was also Co-Owner and Art Director for Enchanted Bodys in Dallas, a company that specializes in custom body art and photography."
Mark is also famous for his body painting of super realistic jeans. Have a look at this video clip for a live demonstration.
Click on the Bikini Image for more details.