Modern body painting explained by Human Statue Bodyart

Modern body painting explained by Human Statue Bodyart

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From here in Sydney, Australia, to as far abroad as Italy and the United States, people often ask me... "What is modern body painting"?

There has been quite the revival of body painting in Western society since the 1960s, in part prompted by the liberalization of social mores regarding nudity and often comes in sensationalist or exhibitionist forms. Even today there has been constant debate about the legitimacy of body painting as an art form, but I think the debate is over.

The current modern revival could be said to date back to the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago when Max Factor, Sr. and his model Sally Rand were arrested for causing a public disturbance when he body-painted 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.

What is body painting and body art?...

Body art has a rich history in nearly every culture of the world, from tattooing to bodypainting. While modern body art is sometimes seen as the realm of rebellious teenagers, a resurgence in the movement has brought body art back to the mainstream.

The term "bodypainting," or body painting, may refer to any number of things, including, but not limited to, face painting and body painting in Western culture, mendhi (or henna) from India, woad from ancient Scotland, huito from South America and tattoos.

Originally body paint was worn during ceremonies such as marriages, funerals, coming of age rites or before battles and wars. It is still practiced for these purposes among some societies today. Body painting was often utilized in religious ceremonies, and examples of this can be traced back to early period cave paintings in various parts of the world.

Body art also has a longstanding tradition in the theater and performing arts world, such as the traditional white face of Japanese Kabuki theater. Modern circus clown makeup is also considered by some to be a form of body art. In the case of body art for performing arts, the methods and materials that are used are often heavily guarded secrets among performers.

To learn more about the world of bodypainting (and human statues - live statues), bodyart and makeup, check the official websites of our Human Statue Bodyart and Human Entertainment


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