Making Fantasy a Reality
It’s not every day in the modern world that we see people daubed in paint. Though, you can sometimes see body painted hosts in nightclubs and special events.
Body painting is a form of body art. It is temporary, painted onto the human skin, and usually lasts for only several hours. Body painting with clay and other natural pigments existed in most, if not all, tribal cultures. Often adorned during ceremonies, it still survives in this ancient form among the indigenous people of Australasia, in the Middle East, India and Africa. The indigenous peoples of South America traditionally used annatto, huito, or wet charcoal to decorate themselves.
There has been quite a revival of body painting in Western society throughout history. Body painting is not always large pieces on fully nude bodies, it can involve smaller pieces on visible areas of otherwise clothed bodies.
Body painting festivals occur annually around the world, bringing together professional body painters as well as enthusiastic amateurs. Body paintings can sometimes be seen at football matches, raves, and outdoor festivals. The World Bodypainting Festival in Pörtschach, Austria, is the body painting’s biggest art event and thousands of visitors enjoy the visually stunning wonderful pieces of living art. The US body painting festivals include the North American Body Painting Championship, Face and Body Art International Convention in Orlando(FL), and the Face Painting and Body Art Convention in Las Vegas (NV).
HUF Magazine had the opportunity to interview Neil Hughes, the UK’s multi award winning body artist and sculptural costumer. His work has been seen in numerous prestigious projects for international companies such as: the BBC, Vodafone, Orange and Smirnoff; Fashion designers including: Jean Paul Gaultier, Zandra Rhodes and Diesel; Feature films including: Harry Potter, The Brothers Grimm, Alien vs. Predator and King Arthur; Theatres including: The Royal Opera House and The Birmingham Royal Ballet; As well as charities such as The Elton John Aids Foundation, Cancer Research, NSPCC and World Aids Day.
Continue reading our exclusive interview with Neil Hughes in HUF Magazine Issue 16.