Disappearing Model

Disappearing Model
Disappearing Model, 2000

Disappearing Model is a trompe-l'œil body painting by Joanne Gair that was part of episode 1.19 or 119 of Ripley's Believe It or Not!,[1][2] which was the highest rated episode.[3] The number 119 represents the nineteenth episode of the first season of the show, which aired exclusively on the TBS superstation.


General episode details

The episode was hosted by Dean Cain,[2] and it originally aired on either August 30 or September 6, 2000, depending upon the source. Both TV.com and IMDb.com claim the episode aired on the August date.[1][2] TBS and Business Wire sources dated August 31, 2000 announce its premiere on the September date.[4][5] Sony Pictures claims the episode aired on November 15, 2000, but does not clarify whether this was the premiere airing or a rerun.[6] The episode had a total of six features.[5]

Gair's role on the episode

Descriptions of the episode describe Gair's notability for her ability to "...make people disappear by painting them right into a background or paint clothing on a human body that is virtually undistinguishable from actual fabric!"[1] More detailed descriptions of the episode describe the origin of Gair's notability as deriving from her production of the Vanity Fair magazine cover entitled Demi's Birthday Suit, also known as "The Suit" in 1992.[4][5]

During the episode, Gair exhibits body painting that appears to be no-fabric clothing and creates another work that causes the illusion that a model disappears into the background of a flower print.[4] The 2000 body painting in which the model is indistinguishable from the red, blue and yellow flowers is known as Disappearing Model and is considered to be Gair's most famous work.[7]

Gair's second book, Body Painting: Masterpieces by Joanne Gair, includes a photo of Disappearing Model. The section credits Tracy Bayne as the photographer of the Russian model Sasha. Gair notes that the show's producer, Gail Smerigan contacted her in 2000 about featuring her work in an episode. The intent was to capture a photo shoot specifically designed for the show with the intent of creating the illusion of causing the model to disappear.[8]

See also

  • Sara Watson, a British artist who attracted attention by making a car "invisible" through painting it into its background


  1. ^ a b c "Ripley's Believe It or Not!: Episode 119". TV.com. http://www.tv.com/ripleys-believe-it-or-not!/episode-119/episode/232188/summary.html. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  2. ^ a b c ""Ripley's Believe It or Not!" Episode #1.19 (2000)". IMDb.com, Inc.. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1005841/. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  3. ^ "Joanne Gair: The Art of Illusion". http://www.joannegair.com/about.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  4. ^ a b c "TBS Superstation Presents An All New Episode of RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!, Featuring a Human Crash-Test Dummy and Celebrity Body Painter Joanne Gair". Business Wire. CBS Interactive Inc.. 2000-08-31. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2000_August_31/ai_64995500/. Retrieved 2009-04-23.  also mirrored at "TBS Superstation Presents An All New Episode of RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!, Featuring a Human Crash-Test Dummy and Celebrity Body Painter Joanne Gair.". The Free Library. Farlex, Inc.. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/TBS+Superstation+Presents+An+All+New+Episode+of+RIPLEY%27S+BELIEVE+IT...-a064995500. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  5. ^ a b c "Wednesday At 8:00 PM/ET: Episode 19". Superstation, Inc. http://cgi.superstation.com/tv/ripleys/html/episodes/19.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  6. ^ "Episode Guide: Episode #119". Sonypictures.com. http://www.sonypictures.com/tv/shows/ripleys/database/ep_119a.html. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  7. ^ Los Angeles Times syndication carried in numerous publication such as Reynolds, Susan Salter (2002-10-24). "With Twirl of Her Brushc, Artist Turns Human Body Into Canvas". Miami Herald. http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:MIHB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=0F6E421D5901E9BA&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=0D0CB579A3BDA420. Retrieved 2009-04-23.  and Reynolds, Susan Salter (2002-11-03). "There's no art experience quite like painting upon a human canvas". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/11/03/LV26166.DTL&hw=Joanne+Gair&sn=001&sc=1000. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  8. ^ Gair, Plates section


  • Gair, Joanne (2006). Body Painting: Masterpieces by Joanne Gair. Universe Publishing. pp. plates section. ISBN 0-7893-1509-2. 

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