Painting has been an admired form of Art for many centuries. Painting on paper has been the classic form, but we all know that painters don't stop there. We are all familiar with graffitis on the streets and on the subway walls. We also know about 3D sidewalk paintings. There are also many other forms of paintings such as Glass Painting, even Clothe Painting.
Body Painting is the form of painting that caught my attention today. Body painting is a type of body Art. Body painting is not the same things as tattoo because they do not serve the same purpose. The tattoos usually last a life time whereas the body painting is only suppose to last a few hours, maximum would be a couple of weeks. Some body paintings are restricted to face and are called face painting.
We are familiar with actors and clowns painting their body and faces in the name of entertainment, but body painting goes further back. Body painting is not a new sensation. In the tribal cultures, body painting was used in ceremonies and celebration. It was also used as a camouflage by our ancestors when they had to chase animals. Today our soldiers still use those type of clay or pigmentation when going to war. Cultures in South America as well as in the Caribbean also use some form of body painting sometimes called "roukou".
Some of us are familiar with a form of body painting called Mehndi, in which Indians mostly from the Middle East use dyes from Henna to decorate their body. This tradition usually takes places when there is a wedding.
Body Painting Today
Today we took this tradition further. Body painting is seen today as a form of advertisement, as some form of Art, but also as a clothing replacement. In many shows or magazine we ave people pausing basically naked, wearing nothing more than paint all over their body, even on their most intimate parts.
Demi Moore, August 1992, Vanity Fair
Those body paintings are usually so good that from first view we can think that the person is actually dressed. Sometimes they are combined with clothing. Most of the time they use body painting in magazines promoting womens body or in Playboy type magazines.
A lot of people criticize body painting probably for this reason. They find it disrespectful of Art and also a form of pornography. As far as i am concerned, i do find it shocking. Nevertheless, i perceive it as some type of makeup, same way we hide our flaws when we put foundation on our faces, we trade clothing for body art. Sometimes it covers so well that we don't even know what to think of it.
Some leggings and shirts that women wear are as bad in the sense that they either don't cover anything or they are transparent. Some are so tight that every body form is visible somehow, so body painting is the same thing. Like i usually say, the thing is not bad or good in itself, it is what we make of it. It can be a beautiful type of painting, and it can also be a means to sell "mature magazines".
Regardless, i find it an interesting type of art, decorating our own body and transforming it into a masterpiece is indeed an unusual type of art!
PS: let me know what you think!