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Nicolette Spear is an artist and body painter who lives in the LA area. Body Fine Art spoke with her about the upcoming competition, her love for the art form and what inspired her to start BFA.
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WHAT’S UNIQUE ABOUT THE BODY FINE ART COMPETITION?
The Body Fine Art Bodypainting Competition is about more than just body painting. It’s all about collaboration. There are lots of different kinds of artists performing on Saturday, including photographers, DJs and the live artists who are our models.
 
We’re doing something new in the active way we are spotlighting collaboration and actively engaging collaboration. The photographers working in tandem with the painters is something that’s never been done. Some body painting shows do have performing models, but we want to highlight that collaboration of performance art and body art. Also, many body painters feel that there’s an energy reading that happens between the model and the body painter. Every model brings their own energy to each painting and that is in and of itself a collaboration.
 
One of the beautiful things about body painting is that it’s like a sand mandala. You spend all these hours painting and then it just gets washed down the drain. It’s temporary. The art exists for only a moment and then it’s gone. And so, photography and videography become a big part of of the collaboration. The capturing of the moment with the model. The sweet spot happens when everyone’s feeling it, the photographer’s in the moment and all of these elements meet in the middle.
 
The goal of the event is to promote freedom of expression and to get people excited about creating, themselves. We want to inspire others to be collaborative and expressive as well. The freedom of expression is contagious.
 
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START THE BFA COMPETITION?
I saw a need for something. As a body painter, I looked for events in Southern California and couldn’t find anything. I wanted to provide an arena for the art form in my area.
 
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN BODY PAINTING?
Tribal and indigenous cultures have been doing body painting for a long time. There are cave paintings which document body painting as far back as 100,000 years. Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher are two National Geographic photographers who’ve written a lot about the history of African body painting.
 
As a painter and art history major, I was already really interested in the human figure. The idea that you can actually paint on the human figure was new to me, but after the research I realized that body painting is an ancient art form. Once I realized that body painting existed it was an “ah ha” moment for me and I think it’s a similar moment for most body painters. I can paint on the form instead of painting the form.
 
I love the Beckwith/Fisher book, “Painted Bodies”. What excites me most about their work is the African attitude towards the body. I would love for the western culture to adopt the comfort with the body other cultures have. Whatever part of the body the artist is painting becomes an extension of the artistic expression and there’s no awkwardness around the nakedness.
 
There’s something healing about finding beauty in one’s body. I think a lot of body painting models experience this freedom of judgement of their body. Being painted helps them to feel love towards their body.

The skin is the boundary that separates the self from the external world. It is the interface between the inner and the outer, the intimate and the infinite… The human form, through the brilliance of inspired artistry becomes a sacred geography of the soul, a map of culture and myth expressed by forms painted, carved, incised, or etched upon the canvas of the body. — Wade Davis (From the introduction to the book “Painted Bodies” by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher)

WHAT ARE SOME CURRENT THEMES IN YOUR OWN WORK?
Each work is dependent on the model and where I am at that time in my life. I love to illustrate anatomy. When I have a particular vision in mind, I’m very picky about choosing my model because of the collaboration. There’s also a spiritual element to my work that I think is about transformation. I like to have a connection with my model so that I can know what kind of transformation they are having. I couldn’t create the vision without the canvas being a living breathing entity with it’s own wants. Personal transformation is a big theme. My own, and the transformation of the model and what their wants are. And there can be conflicting wants as the body has to eat and breath and go to the bathroom. There become complications, which are part of the process and lead to their own discoveries.
 
WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
Body painting is having an artistic revival. The revival has occurred first in Europe with the World Body Painting Festival which has over 40k in attendance. It’s become very popular in Europe which makes me think of Picasso with his fascination with African art. Only now is body painting really making its way here in the US. It’s awesome to be at the forefront of the movement here in the US and it’s really exciting to help the art form come to the forefront of the culture. There’s so many different places for the art form to go. We’re seeing it get absorbed into the culture more and more and I’m excited to see where this goes. There’s lots of different ways for it to be expressed in the culture.
 
You can find out more about Nicolette and see more of her work at her website – NicoletteSpear.com

Alisia Silliman is a self-taught, multi-talented Artist from Denver, Colorado. She became a Tattoo Artist at an early age and has since developed her love for Bodypainting. In 2012 she started her own Company, Angelcake Art LLC, Bodypainting, designing full makeups, costumes and prosthetics. 
 
She made the jump from local to global with the Gibraltar International Bodypainting Competition, taking First Place in 2014. She has since competed in the Greensboro Living Art America, taking 3rd Place Emerging Artist, and Assisted the 2nd Place winner of Atlanta Living Art America 2014. 
 
You can find out more about Alisia at her website: Angelcakebodyart.com

Steven’s background in art is in figurative and portrait painting in oil. His pulls his imagery from life, dreams and abstract. As an artist he was introduced to body painting thru friends and the idea of a three dimensional canvas has sparked a new journey in his creativity. Every painting becomes a new challenge and he enjoys the process of creatively developing his craftsmanship. 
 
You can learn more about Steven at this great write up about him at our sponsor, Skin City Body painting’s blog. – Steven Horlock feature

We’ve got a line up of amazing DJs spinning for us at our Mat 16 live bodypainting and photography competition! Check out their Sound Clouds below and get your tickets before they sell out. (Tix will sell out!!!)

Jason Bentley



 

DJ Wolfie



Jacques the Ripper



ipunx



Uru Majik

Ngene Mwaura is a third-generation artist from a family of writers and storytellers. He comes from Kikuyu, a farmland fifteen miles outside of Nairobi, Kenya. Unlike his father, Mwaura Mureithi (author of “The Adventures of Thiga”), Ngene has found illustration to be his truest form of storytelling.
 
The succession of his work is a timeline of his perception and experiences to date. His work takes you from the farmlands of Africa, through the art world of Europe, and most recently to Los Angeles, where he’s working on his latest work, “Masks,” an expression of what he thinks the African Mask could have evolved into if the African tradition hadn’t progressively dissipated.
 
He has studied under several artists, including Ndasuunye Shikongeni, Fred Mutebi, Henry Mujunga, Rafael Zarza, and Joyce Wellman. His expertise is in silk-screening, etching, acetate printing, carton printing and woodblock printing. You can find Ngene’s work in the collections of the Commercial Bank of Africa and the Dutch Embassy, in Kenya.
 
You can find out more about Ngene at his website: www.ngenemwaura.com

The Boulet Brothers have been pumping out the thickest, most potent dress up and dance parties in Los Angeles for over a decade, and are a drag duo who both perform and MC events worldwide.The couple are set to host Seattle Pride in the summer of 2015, and are featured hosts at RUPAUL’s DRAG CON in May. They have appeared on World of Wonders (Rupaul’s Drag Race) TRANSFORMATIONS with James St James, and opened the 2014 Marco Marco fashion show, and were the MCs & hosts of WASTELAND WEEKEND (2012-2014), VANCOUVER FETISH WEEKEND, and the AVN Awards in Las Vegas 2014.
 

 
The Boulet Brothers are available for interviews or to answer questions about the upcoming event – feel free to reach out to them here.

Aimme is a multi-media artist who uses anything she can get her hands on to create. She brings a unique and intriguing style of art and entertainment to the table, including the use of customized headpieces and shoes. Self taught, she started making art as soon as she was able to hold a pencil. From clothes to walls, paper to skin. In 2011 Aimme attempted body painting and loved the idea of mixing paint, prosthetics and props to make a piece come alive. Aimee does what she does because she wants people to see what goes on in her mind.
 
Find our more about Aimee at her website: www.wickedserenity.com
 

Stephanie Anderson, under her brand name “Neon Armour”, has worked in Los Angeles on the upcoming Maxim and Patriot Pictures Film “Halloween House”, organized events with comic book greats such as David Mack and Bill Sienkiewicz, and has been featured in a special spread in CNN Living. Her work as Creative Director of Cosplay for international online game, “Smite” has garnered her international attention. She also placed second in the Global “Bodies as A Work of Art” competition 2012. Stephanie’s make up and costume design skills contributed to the Allie Award win for “Best Entertainment” for international entertainment design agency L.E.D. She was recently flown to Los Angeles (GSN) to audition for Skin Wars 2014 and her make-up was featured in the breakthrough film “Demons Rook”. She won “Best Special FX” under James Sizemore at the Fantaspoa Film Fest. Her make-Up was also featured on Michael Bay’s “Welcome to Yesterday” , the upcoming film, “The Nice Guys”, CW’s “The Originals” and the The original Music Videos by Vitaly K, Tom P, and Deuce Decaurtier.
 
You can find out more about Stephanie at her website
 

Rio Sirah is a self taught artist born in Jackson, Mississippi, who was raised by family with Alabama and Illinois roots. Since his arrival in Atlanta Rio has produced artwork in the mediums of make-up, body art, video, fine art, and other various artistic forms of expression. He has worked with and for the following companies: Netherworld, Dragoncon, Bonner Brothers, PMAC, Magic City, Straight Stuntin Magazine.
 
Find out more about Rio at his website www.riosirah.com.
 
Rio was also chosen as a 2015 Skin Wars competitor! See his Skin Wars feature page here.
 

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