Body Painting

Roberto Soares
This page was originally just a section of my page on disorganized nudity. But so many Web sites have appeared that deal with body painting that it seems to deserve a page of its own here.

Body painting is a form of expression used by people who like to be naked to communicate feelings and ideas about the human body by using the body itself as the canvas. Such ideas may sometimes be of a sexual nature, but that is only a small part of the possible range of thoughts that can be expressed in this way.

It shouldn't be very surprising that people who like to be naked also like to paint bodies or have their own painted. It is a fairly common pastime at nudist/naturist gatherings and events, and other festive occasions where naked people are found.

A naked body makes a pretty good canvas for creative expression. In fact, the expanded possibilities for self expression that are possible when one doesn't wear clothes form one of the chief attractions of being naked for some people.

What people who are interested in the body as an expressive medium have in common with those who just like to be naked is a certain attitude towards the body. An attitude that is more detached and objective than "normal". An attitude that accepts, without flinching, the body for what it is, and then uses it to realize new concepts of "corpo-reality".

Is body painting an erotic thing? Clearly, it can be, just as certain choices in clothing can be erotic. However, it need not be any more erotic than other, non-erotic forms of appreciation of the body for its own sake.

There are a lot more body painting examples in the Burning Man and Fantasy Fest sections of the disorganised nudity page.

Here's a selection of pages that explore and illustrate body painting.

Body Painting
This is a very straightforward, quick overview of body painting by photographer Philip Greenspun. It is taken for granted that the subjects are naked. Pictures included. The one entitled "Republican Platform" alone is worth the visit - send it to any Republicans you know.
The Body Painting Page
Here's a whole site devoted to the subject, by Steven Bradford. It has technical information, a gallery of images by Bradford and others, and even a full list of examples, going back over 30 years, of painted bodies that have appeared in print, movies, and video.
Bodypainting Links
This may be the most extensive list of body painting links, by "Sentai".
Body Painting Links
Steven Bradford provided this list of links.
Bodypainting by Fredi Schmid
A bodypainting site with several galleries, a very good links page.
Filippo Ioco
Ioco does photography and conventional painting as well as bodypainting. There are male as well as female images.
Nina Glaser
Nina Glaser is a photographer who has made a series of images of nude females "painted" with mud. This is an essay in Urban Desires by A. D. Coleman on Glaser's work, with many examples.
Deals with body modifications (piercing, tattoos, etc.) as well as body painting. Many annotated links to sites and image galleries.
CD-ROM "Airbrush & Body Painting"
The site is mostly about the CD-ROM they sell, but there's also some additional information, including the famous Vanity Fair cover with Demi Moore totally naked, except for body paint.
Key West Fantasy Fest Body Paint
Ed Falk's pictures from the 1995 Fantasy Fest.
Roger Edgecombe
Joan of Arc, and an egg.
The Body-Arts Link Page: Bodypaint Sites
Good list with about 40 links, annotated.
A bodypainting community. The site contains galleries, discussion forum, links, and other bodypainting resources. Language is mostly German.
Hedonism II Body Painting Links
Hedonism II is a resort in Jamaica, clothing-optional in part, where body-painting is a favorite activity.
Connection: Wilderness Bodypainting
Painted bodies in natural outdoor settings, a feature in the German magazine Connection.
XIe Fardel International Body Painting Contest
Held in Brussels. Site is in French.
European Bodypainting Festival
Held at Seeboden, Millstätter See, Austria. Good galleries and external links.

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Last updated: July 7, 2005