Body painting: a performance art

The art of body painting consists of applying make-up to the body. It is an artistic act whose aim is to paint a work of art on the human body (which is in fact a support). The body is a canvas that the artist paints. The body becomes indistinguishable to practice the creation. Body painting requires a professional technique and the use of certain materials. In France, there are associations that can help you discover this art.

Why opt for body painting?

Body painting is a unique art. It is the result of the complicity between the model and the artist. It is not a question of painting the model, it aims at creating emotion on his model. The photographer must immortalize the work done by the artist in order to keep a trace of the art. Body painting has been perceived as a graphic art. It can easily be integrated with sensual worlds, rituals, graffiti, advertising materials and others. There are other types of body painting such as belly painting (on a pregnant woman's belly) and face painting (on the face).

What is the origin of this art?

It is an artistic expression. Artists soon realised that the human body could be used as a medium. In ancient times, body paintings were used in hunting or during ritual. For example, people used it as an initiation ritual or during mourning. It is a practice widely used during a celebration of the self, as part of a seduction and as a rite of passage. It is still practised by some peoples during festivals and celebrations. Nowadays, body painting is used for communication, spiritual and religious purposes. You can practice it for its playfulness and its artistic aspect.

What do you need to know about body painting?

Because of the naked body, the art is unfortunately associated with female nudity. In most cases, artists create beautiful, living works of art. They use make-up with special effects to achieve a remarkable effect. Associations are trying to establish respect for copyright in order to protect the creation. The work of body painting remains the exclusive property of the person who created it. On the Internet, in a photo gallery, it is possible to find many works associated with the names of the artists.

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