Body painting

Body painting

Body painting, or sometimes bodypainting, is a form of body art, considered by some as the most ancient form of art. Unlike tattoo and other forms of body art, body painting is temporary, painted onto the human skin, and lasts for only several hours, or at most (in the case of Mehndi or "henna tattoo") a couple of weeks. Body painting that is limited to the face is known as face painting.

Traditional body painting

Body painting with clay and other natural pigments existed in most, if not all, tribalist cultures. Often worn during ceremonies, it still survives in this ancient form among the indigenous people of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific islands and parts of Africa. A semi-permanent form of body painting known as Mehndi, using dyes made of henna (hence also known rather erroneously as "henna tattoo"), was and is still practised in India and the Middle East, especially on brides. Since the late 1990s, Mehndi has become popular amongst young women in the Western world.

Indigenous peoples of South America traditionally use annatto, huito, or wet charcoal to decorate their faces and bodies. Huito is semi-permanent, and it generally takes weeks for this black dye to fade.

Actors and clowns around the world have painted their faces--and sometimes bodies--for centuries, and continue to do so today. More subdued form of face paints for everyday occasions evolve into the cosmetics we know today.

Modern body painting

There has been a revival of body painting in the Western society since the 1960s, in part prompted by the liberalization of social mores regarding nudity. Even today there is a constant debate about the legitimacy of body painting as an art form. The current modern revival could be said to date back to the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago where Max Factor and his model were arrested for causing a public disturbance when he bodypainted her with his new make-up formulated for Hollywood films.

Body art today evolves to the works more directed towards personal mythologies, as Jana Sterbak, Rebecca Horn, Youri Messen-Jaschin or Javier Perez.

Body painting is not always large pieces on fully nude bodies, but can involve smaller pieces on displayed areas of otherwise clothed bodies.

Body painting led to a minor alternative art movement in the 1950s and 1960s, which involved covering a model in paint and then having the model touch or roll on a canvas or other medium to transfer the paint. French artist Yves Klein is perhaps the most famous for this, with his series of paintings 'Anthropometries'. The effect produced by this technique creates an image-transfer from the model's body to the medium. This includes all the curves of the model's body (typically female) being reflected in the outline of the image. This technique was not necessarily monotone; multiple colors on different body parts sometimes produced interesting effects.

Joanne Gair is a leading body paint artist whose work appeared for the tenth consecutive year in the 2008 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.cite web|url=|title=Supermodel Marisa Miller Adorns the Cover of the 2008 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue on Newsstands Today!|accessdate=2008-02-18|date=2008-02-12|] She burst into prominence with a August 1992 "Vanity Fair" "Demi's Birthday Suit" cover of Demi Moore. [cite web|url=|title=Make-Up ILLUSION by Joanne Gair|accessdate=2008-02-18] [cite web|url=|title=Body Painting: Masterpieces by Joanne Gair|work=Art MOCO: The Modern and Contemporary Art Blog|accessdate=2008-02-18|date=2007-07-22]

Body painting is commonly used as a method of gaining attention in political protests, for instance those by PETA against Burberry.

Body painting festivals

Today body painting is huge in both amateur and professional arenas. Body painting festivals happen annually across the world, bringing together professional body painters as well as keen amateurs. Body paintings can also typically be seen at football matches, at rave parties, and at certain festivals. The World Bodypainting Festival in Seeboden in Austria is the biggest art event in the bodypainting theme and thousands of visitors admire the wonderful work of the participants.

Bodypaint festivals that take place in the US include [ American Body Arts Festival] in upstate NY and [ US Bodypainting Festival] in Albuquerque, NM.

Fine art body painting

The 1960s supermodel Veruschka is often cited as being many body painters' muse.Fact|date=February 2007 Her images in the book "Transfigurations" with photographer Holger Trulzsch have frequently been emulated.Fact|date=February 2007 Other well-known works include Serge Diakonoff's books "A Fleur de Peau" and "Diakonoff" and Joanne Gair's "Paint a licious".

Since the early 1990s bodypainting has become more widely accepted in the United States, and more and more body artists are beginning to come onto the national community.

Starting in late 2006 Sacramento art galleries started to use fine art bodypainting as performance art to draw new patrons.Fact|date=April 2008

In 2006 the first gallery dedicated exclusively to fine art bodypainting was opened in New Orleans by World Bodypainting Festival Champion and Judge, Craig Tracy. The [ Painted Alive Gallery] is on Royal Street in the French Quarter.

Body painting in the commercial arena

Many artists work professionally as body painters across the world. Their work is seen regularly in television commercials, such as the Natrel Plus campaign featuring models camouflaged as trees. Body painters also work frequently in the film arena especially in science fiction with more and more elaborate alien creations being body painted. Stills advertising also used body painting with hundreds of body painting looks on the pages of the world's magazines every year.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, published annually, has in recent years featured a section of models that were body painted, attired in renditions of swimsuits or sports jerseys. Sometimes accessories are used such as bows or buttons. Some allege this allows SI to skirt their own no-nudity guideline.Fact|date=February 2007

In the 2005 "Playmates at Play at the Playboy Mansion" calendar, all Playmates appeared in the calendar wearing bikinis, but Playmates Karen McDougal and Hiromi Oshima actually appeared in painted on bikinis for their respective months.Fact|date=January 2008 In October, 2005, the "Playboy" magazine cover featured a foldout of two models (Sara Jean Underwood and Victoria Thornton) wearing only body paint. The February 2008 cover of "Playboy" magazine featured Tiffany Fallon body painted as Wonder Woman. These covers and other body paintings done for Hugh Hefner's parties at the Playboy Mansion are created for Playboy by artist Mark Frazier.Fact|date=January 2008 Michelle Manhart, Playboy model and former Air Force Staff Sergeant, recently posed in body paint for the cover of a 2008 pin-up calendar (published by Operation Calendar).

Face painting

Face painting is the artistic application of cosmetic "paint" to a person's face. There are special water-based cosmetic "paints" made for face painting; people should ask before having face paints applied what products are being used. Acrylic and tempera craft paints are not meant for use on skin and are not acceptable, nor are watercolor pencils or markers. Products not intended for use on skin can cause a variety of issues ranging from discomfort to severe allergic reactions. [ [ Snazaroo USA Acrylic Paint FAQ] Retrieved on 2008-05-26]

From ancient times, it has been used for hunting, religious reasons, and military reasons (such as camouflage and to indicate membership in a military unit). In re-entered the popular culture during the hippie movement of the late 1960s, when it was common for young women to decorate their cheeks with flowers or peace symbols at anti-war demonstrations.

For several decades it has been a common entertainment at county fairs, large open-air markets (especially in Europe and the Americas), and other locations where children and adolescents are. Face painting is very popular among children at theme parks, parties and festivals throughout the Western world. Though the majority of face painting is geared towards children, many teenagers and adults enjoy being painted for special events, such as charity fund raisers.

There are many kinds of face paint, including:
* Designs that include the emblems of favorite sports teams, cartoon characters, and other designs that are "cute" or otherwise appealing to the young.
* Dramatic designs that appeal to all ages.
* Costuming designs which transform the wearer into someone/something completely different, such as Jack Haley's silver face makeup as the Tin Man in "The Wizard of Oz".
* Designs that endeavor to color the face in such a way to indicate solidarity with a cause, usually the outcome of a sporting contest or membership in a group.

Most theme parks have booths scattered around where a person can have a design painted on their face. A similar activity is the application of "instant tattoos", which are paint or ink-based designs that are put on as one unit and removed by means of water, alcohol, soap, or another mild solvent. More elaborate temporary tattoos may be made using stencils and airbrush equipment. Very recently, "glitter tattoos" have been gaining popularity. These are made by filling a stencil (or freehand painting a design) with prosthetic adhesive then coating the adhesive with cosmetic-grade glitter.

Use in military

It is common in militaries all over the world for soldiers in combat scenarios to paint their faces and other exposed body parts (hands, for example) in natural colors such as green, tan, and loam for camouflage purposes.

Body paints

Modern face and body paints are made according to stringent guidelines, meaning these are non-toxic, usually non-allergenic, and can easily be washed away. These are either applied with hands, paint brush, and natural sea sponge, or alternatively with an airbrush. Contrary to the popular myth perpetuated by the James Bond film "Goldfinger", a person is not asphyxiated if their whole body is painted, although wearing body paint for a prolonged period may cause heat stroke by inhibiting perspiration. Liquid latex may also be used as body paint and allows for better perspiration, however care should be taken to avoid the painful removal of hair when the latex is pulled off.

As for Mehndi, natural brown henna dyes are safe to use; however, synthetic black dyes containing PPD can cause serious skin allergies, and should be avoided due to the substantial risk of serious injury [ [ The Henna Page - PPD Black Henna] Retrieved on 2008-05-26] . Jagua is a dark indigo plant based dye that is safe to use on the skin and is approved for cosmetic use in the EU.

Whatever the type of body paint (the same is true for cosmetics), should the skin show any sign of allergy, one should immediately cease using it. Moreover, it should not be applied onto open wounds, nor should it be applied too close to the eyes. It is not advisable to use paints or products which have not been formulated for use on the body as these can result in serious allergic reactions.

Manufacturers of widely available professional body and face paint include: Kryolan, Mehron, Snazaroo, Wolfe Face Art & FX, Ben Nye and Fardel.

Hand art

Hand art is the application of make-up or paint to a hand to make it appear like an animal or other object. Some hand artists, like Guido Daniele, produce images that are trompe l'oeil representations of wild animals painted on people's hands.

Hand artists work closely with "hand models" - hand models - can be booked through specialist acting and modeling agencies usually advertising under "body parts models" or "hands and feet models".

See also

*Clothing-optional bike rides
**Solstice Cyclists
**Sydney Body Art Ride
**World Naked Bike Ride


External links

* [ Photos from the World Body Painting Festival in Austria]
* [ top professional hand model in Europe]
* [ Professional Face Painting Supplies]
* [ World Naked Bike Ride's Body Art page]
* [ Sports Illustrated body painting swimsuits]
* [ Colombian bodypaint]
* [ Face Painting Designs Gallery]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • body painting — /bodiˈpentin(g), ingl. ˈbHdɪˌpeɪntɪŋ/ [lett. «pittura (painting) del corpo (body)»] loc. sost. m. inv. pittura del corpo CFR. body art …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Body-Painting — Körperbemalung im Rahmen der Fußball WM 2006 Körperbemalung (englisch body painting [ˈbɒdiˌpeɪntɪŋ]) ist eine Form von Körpergestaltung. Dabei wird Farbe direkt auf die Haut aufgetragen. Die Körperbemalung hält sich ein paar Stunden bis zu… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Body painting — Körperbemalung im Rahmen der Fußball WM 2006 Körperbemalung (englisch body painting [ˈbɒdiˌpeɪntɪŋ]) ist eine Form von Körpergestaltung. Dabei wird Farbe direkt auf die Haut aufgetragen. Die Körperbemalung hält sich ein paar Stunden bis zu… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • body painting — {{#}}{{LM B46860}}{{〓}} {{[}}body painting{{]}} {{■}}(ing.){{□}} {{《}}▍ s.m.{{》}} Pintura artística que se aplica sobre la piel. {{★}}{{\}}PRONUNCIACIÓN:{{/}} [bódi péintin]. {{★}}{{\}}ORTOGRAFÍA:{{/}} Por ser un extranjerismo debe escribirse con …   Diccionario de uso del español actual con sinónimos y antónimos

  • body painting — bo·dy pain·ting loc.s.m.inv. ES ingl. {{wmetafile0}} TS arte il dipingere il corpo umano, spec. nell ambito di ricerche artistiche derivanti dalla body art {{line}} {{/line}} DATA: 1983. ETIMO: comp. di body corpo e painting pittura …   Dizionario italiano

  • World Body Painting Association — Body Painting Die World Body Painting Association (abgekürzt wbpa) ist die Vereinigung der Bodypainter (engl. Körpermaler). Sie vertritt Künstlerinnen/Künstler nach außen, vermittelt Workshops, Modelle, Sponsoren. Von 1998 bis 2010 wurde das… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Body painting — …   Википедия

  • Body art — is art made on, with, or consisting of, the human body. The most common forms of body art are tattoos and body piercings, but other types include scarification, branding, scalpelling, shaping (for example tight lacing of corsets), full body… …   Wikipedia

  • body art — /bodiˈart, ingl. ˈbHdɪˌɑːt/ [lett. «arte (art) del corpo (body)»] loc. sost. f. inv. arte del corpo CFR. body painting …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Painting — For other uses, see Painting (disambiguation). The Mona Lisa, by Italian painter Leonardo da Vinci, is one of the most recognizable artistic paintings in the world. Painting is the practice of applying paint, pig …   Wikipedia

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