The Body as the Artist Canvas

Artistic Duo Chadwick Gray and Laura Spector

Body painting is nothing new. Records of various ancient and modern tribes from Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia show clear records of their body painting heritage.

According to many historians, body painting was the important part of the daily and spiritual lives, often showcasing their inner qualities, wishes for future, images of gods, and many natural or war themes.

There, body paint was often applied for weddings, preparations for war, death or funerals, showcasing of position and rank, and rituals of adulthood.

Body painting (unlike tattoos) is temporary and lasts for one day, or at most (in the case of Mehndi, “henna” or temp tattoo, glitter tattoos) a couple of weeks.

The first modern appearance of the full body paint emerged in 1933 when famous cosmetic inventor Max Factor Sr. caused confusion and disturbance with their exhibition of naked model Sally Rand on 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago. Shock of this public marketing stunt did not manage to popularize body painting in the west, but it brought it to the minds of many future artists.

Today artists that want to make a statement or create unique ‘wearable’ painting can create some stunning results on the human body.

One such art form is created by the incredible fine art body painting work by artistic duo Chadwick Gray and Laura Spector. This team resides in Houston. Their work has won numerous awards and they have been published in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

Laura is the artist, Chadwick often the model. Chadwick admits the 12 to 15 hour process is painful, especially because he has to pose completely still, almost in a meditative trance.

Take a look a few of their amazing body art pieces.

Portrait of Mrs Luke Ionides after Richmond
Virgin and child in Egypt after William Blake
Jeanne Darc after Eugene Thirion
Tending to the geese after Pinkas.
Rinaldo e armida after Bergler.

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