Be Mused : Body Art
Il m’arrive parfois de me peindre dessus : le visage, les bras, le décolleté… Il m’arrive aussi de dessiner sur les corps d’autres personnes. (Avec leur permission, en général.) Voici une dédicace à quelques-unes de mes inspirations…
Sometimes I paint myself: my face, my arms, my bossom… Sometimes I draw on other people’s bodies, too. (Usually with their consent.)
When this happens, people that I’ve never met before stare at me. They ask what I’m celebrating. They ask why the fuck I have designs all over my body. I usually respond with a remark about playing sexist ideas against themselves, a line that goes something like “If I’m going to wear make-up because society expects me to (as a woman), then I may as well do it on my own terms.” Often, men tell me that I’m prettier without the big blue lightning bolt running across my nose. Those men do not understand me.
This whimsical art form is one of my favorite pastimes. The practice of body painting encourages creativity by presenting obstacles. That is, drawing on a living being is challenging in ways that drawing on paper is not, mostly due to the distortions created by varying dimensions. As the body is not a flat surface, illusions are created and multiplied: what was a triangle on the cheek becomes a five-sided form with a turn of the subject’s head.
There’s also the difficult goal of creating images that complement, rather than swallow or tarnish, the subject himself. Whether regarding permanent or temporary art, it is important to choose a design that pleases and means something to the subject and/or the artist, but the aesthetic value must be just as deliberate.
I’d like to give credit to those who inspired my hobby. As shocking as it may seem, I consider David Bowie only a secondary influence; his Ziggy Stardust never came to my mind directly, but was probably behind some of the influences that I cite.