Body painting,or sometimes bodypainting, is a form of body 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. Body painting is also referred to as (a form of) temporary tattoo; large scale or full-body painting is more commonly referred to as body painting, while smaller or more detailed work is generally referred to as temporary tattoos.
Body painting festivals
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 North America include the North American Body Painting Championship, Face and Body Art International Convention in Orlando, Florida, Bodygras Body Painting Competition in Nanaimo, BC and the Face Painting and Body Art Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fine art body painting
The 1960s supermodel Veruschka is often cited as being many body painters' muse. Her images in the book Transfigurations with photographer Holger Trulzsch have frequently been emulated. 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.
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.
In 2009, a popular late night talk show Last Call with Carson Daly on NBC network, featured a New York based artist Danny Setiawan who creates reproductions of masterpieces by famous artists such as Salvador Dali, Vincent Van Gogh, and Gustav Klimt on human bodies aiming to make fine art appealing for his contemporaries who normally would not consider themselves as art enthusiasts.
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.
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.
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. 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).