A painting on a human body does not stand alone but rather is dependent on the body it is painted upon. Different bodies will give different appearances and different interpretations of the art upon them.
A painter who engages in the art of painting on a body – Body Art – like myself, does not paint on a smooth page.
In my world the canvas of my paintings is alive and breathing. The body I paint upon is not just a biological canvas, but rather an entire entity that makes my work a living creation.
An artist who paints on a body has his paints and paintbrushes, but he also has his model, who is an integral part of the creation itself.
Therefore the artist must have the ability not only to paint well, but also to sense the model. Not only as regards the physical perception of the body, but also his/her personality.
In the process of painting on a model, you are never alone; the model paints the painting with you on herself. And the bond that exists with the model is a meaningful connection, like the connection of notes calling out to the musician or dough calling to the pastry chef.
Photographer: Leon Sokoletski
The model’s relationship with the painter
The most important factor for me when I choose a model is that she be a positive thinker and that she has an optimistic outlook on life. Her profession or how much experience she has are less important to me.
I choose to work with balanced, calm models. The interpersonal connection between us is important and I make sure to keep the communication between us open and healthy. A body painting model has to be communicative and open to new ideas.
The model’s ability to allow me to express my art also involves her ability to stand still, and enable her body to accept my paint-laden brushes. Patience. Lots of patience is the key.
I love working with models I know well. The more experience I have with the same model the closer I am to being at my very best.
The model’s relationship with the creation
Beyond the model’s personality traits, there are also the physical dimensions of the model’s body. It is important that the type of model suits the creative idea that the artist wishes to express.
The subject could be as easy to understand such as a flower, or abstract, such as pain, emptiness, or suffering.
In this case, the subjects are symbols that are perceived differently by different people. In this respect, the model’s perception of the creation and her ability to assimilate it are crucial.
The relationship with the audience
Beyond the physical body and an easy-going nature, the model’s stage presence must be taken into account.
Her experience in presenting on a stage and her ability to capture the audience’s attention.
In the event that the audience has free access while the painting is being carried out, it is important for the model to have the ability to communicate with the audience and to allow people to photograph her during the work’s progress.
When you understand that the heart of body art is the connection with the model, the result is the best creation. This is an art form that requires a bond between two souls. Like two dancers who must dance in perfect harmony in order to give the performance of their lives.
Tell me about your experiences with your body art models.
I’m curious to hear about it.