I love painting in Africa. I feel true creative freedom there. I draw what I want, I have no limitations or restrictions;
I can stop and think; I don’t run around after models, nor am I preoccupied with other distractions.
When I visit a part of Africa where I had never been before, I have every optimal condition for creativity. My trips to Africa enrich my painting abilities. These are trips that allow me to expand my ability to cope with the various tasks facing me.
The rules of the game are different in Africa. Your business card means nothing here; it does not open any doors here. Even if you are one of the most famous people in the world, no one will recognize you – your reputation does not precede you, and there is no red carpet waiting for you. If you cannot communicate using the local dialect, no one will make the effort to understand you and your foreign language.
The creative makeup competition in Austria in 2015 inspired me to create a special character to embody the competition’s chosen theme: the 1920s.
I chose to carry out the character of an actress at the time. For me, the 1920s evoke mainly images of the fashion of the day – clothes, makeup, women’s dreams, and the vivacious, bohemian lifestyle of the actresses, of which makeup was an integral part.
It was clear to me that my actress had to wear a fantastic dress. After choosing the cut of the dress, I decided to buy 70 yards of burgundy-colored nylon. Everything is urgent for me – I even took my busy model’s measurements in the middle of the street – and it’s all about ordering the fabric I want.
It’s quiet. To an outside observer, it may look like I’m doing nothing. This is what it looks like when I start a new project. When I work on a new character, I can sometimes do nothing for two or three days.
But this outer quiet is misleading, as my mind never rests during these days. Like a large pot in which morsels of ideas are cooked into a perfect, richly flavored soup.
I’m often asked where my ideas come from.
Where do ideas come from, really?
This past July I participated in the World Body Painting Festival that took place in Austria. The theme of the competition was metamorphosis.
The immediate association that came to me was that of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but I knew I wanted to create something with a greater meaning than that common image.
After a great deal of thought, I chose the theme of birth and death as a metamorphosis of life.
It is no secret that in the world of Body Art, a good creation is the result of the harmonic interaction between the artist, the model, and the photographer.
Each one brings his or her own skills and resources to the piece.
The artist brings the idea, the vision, and the talent, and covers the expenses of the time, the paints, the props, and the model.
The model brings her body’s physical ability, and the sensitivity and intellect to carry the work.
The photographer brings his talent and his memorialization, processing, and editing skills to produce the final version of the creation.
One cannot exist without the other, so to whom does the creation belong? Who has ownership of the copyright?
A painting on a human body does not stand alone but rather is dependent on the body it is painted upon. Different bodies will give different appearances and different interpretations of the art upon them.
A painter who engages in the art of painting on a body – Body Art – like myself, does not paint on a smooth page.
In my world the canvas of my paintings is alive and breathing. The body I paint upon is not just a biological canvas, but rather an entire entity that makes my work a living creation.