I’ve never thought of body painting as being in the realm of fine art, but it’s definitely elevated to a sublime level by a wizard of the craft, Johannes Stötter, an Italian artist whose works depicting the human form in seamless assimilation with nature are both imaginatively evocative, as in the photos shown left and below, and stunningly eye-stumping, as in the “frog” shown at bottom. (The latter became a bit of an Internet sensation, as did a faux parrot, which was similarly striking.)
Champion at the World Bodypainting Festival in 2012 (this year’s event is currently in full swing in Austria), Stötter is among the more than 1,000 artists, including other celebrated body-art practitioners such as Craig Tracy and Gesine Marwedel, who have begun to upload photographs of their work to the website I Love Body Art, a centralized showcase for the myriad varieties of an art form that has come into its own.
“In body painting, you create unity between an image and a person. I observe the world, nature, colours, and shapes with very clear eyes and an open heart,” Stötter told London’s Daily Mail last year. His sharply creative eye has resulted in some amazing trompe l’oeil — and yes — some fine art, too.
(Photos: Johannes Stötter)