Monday, August 24, 2009

The World Body Painting Festival

Some say body painting is one the oldest art forms known to man – ancient people have been tattooing, piercing and painting their bodies for thousands of years. In the last decade or so, a new festival has been making waves, praising this ancient art form.

The biggest festival for the body painting community connects cultures from two continents – the festival is held every year both in Seeboden, the Carinthia province in Austria and in Daegu in South Korea. The main festival, a true “Mecca of Bodypainting”, started in Austria but grew so big it needed a bonus exhibition, set on the Asian continent. With thousands of artists and models and ten times more visitors, the festival has been spreading excitement for the art of body painting for over 12 years.

The artists have both women and men as their canvases. These usually volunteer for a chance to have their body painted by a famous artist. All models are required to wear underpants while painted, however many of the female models choose to be painted topless. The body painting masters compete for the big prizes: trophies, prizes and the public’s respect for their work.

The festival that lasts a week consists of two steps; in the first four days, everyone attends special workshops and body painting lessons and the festival itself, when every artist displays its works. Artists can compete in three different categories: special effects, airbrush, or brush and sponge, and their creations are displayed often accompanied by live music.

The festival in Austria is held every year during 13 - 19 July, while the Asian version occurs during 25 - 31 August, starting with 2008.

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