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Many people think of the body as an instrument for moving, working, thinking, running, and other physical activities. Others consider the body as a vessel for the soul, spirit, or thought processes. But how many think of the body simply as a canvas for paint, latex, props, and even prosthetics?
In fact, there are a subset of visual artists throughout the world who continue to practice the ancient art of body art and painting. Some of the most prominent names acquired from my limited research are Rich Diltz, Joanne Gair, Sharon Hodges, and Leroy Roper that are located here in the United States. However, there are numerous others who have mastered this amazing art of transforming the body into a canvas as it has been done for thousands of years throughout the world.
Now for those who think that body art is not displayed often in public media such as TV, internet, or even among the regular public, just think of those air brush makeup commercials that continually promise beautiful skin. Consequently, air brush makeup is one of many techniques commonly used in body art and painting. For this reason, many people who start as makeup artists continue their journey into the face and body art arena. As you may imagine, once these lucky individuals begin the journey toward learning or experiencing body art, the options for expression are practically limitless.
Finally, as in other art forms, the process of body art is a transformative experience for all involved including the model, artist, and viewer. For example, Leroy Roper, a renowned painter of the human body and canvases, stated "All of my images tell a story, whether written or unwritten. I will usually title and write poetry or prose to accompany the pictures." In this case, Leroy´s art transforms him into a poet. Carolyn Cowan states "My aim is to inspire you, to elevate you. To encourage you to go beyond all that has been done before." In this case, Carolyn´s art transforms here into a motivator and educator. Seemingly, each of these transformative natures lead to the propulsion of body art as a whole.
Much of the art shown in the image of this article can be found at the listed web addresses. Furthermore, the names of the pictures shown at the bottom of the image from left to right, top to bottom, are Joanne Gair (www.joannegair.com), Sharon Hodges (www.enchantedbodys.com), Leroy Roper (www.leroyroper.com), Rich Diltz (www.secondskinimages.com), and Carolyn Cowan (www.bodypaintingart.co.uk).
The writer, Curtiss Cathey enjoys the artistic endeavors of body art and hopes to expand the public's education and awareness of this beautiful yet forgotten art form.