Body art, defined rather redundantly as art that is made on or with the human body’, has its roots spread out across numerous ancient cultures all over the globe. From tattoos and other masterpieces to war paint meant to intimidate enemies in war, many different peoples agree that decorating our bodies tells those who wish to know about who you are as an individual and as a community. Take Ben Pakulski as an example. His body is an art form. He created a product to help others achieve the optimal form of a human body. Check out this MI40X Reviews homepage here.
The skin of a person has been used as a living canvas for thousands of years. The images inked and painted on representing past experiences, hopes for the future, and where you are in the present. More intangible concepts such as status, protection, beauty, bravery, magic, fertility, transformation, and connections to realms and plains of existence over and above, or down and below, our own. These strong performances of who we are, dancing across the planes of our chests, backs, limbs, and faces exist in two categories.
First are old rituals and tradition. Every major society turned their attention towards the culture of body art at one time or another, and rituals are a permanent fixture in human society even in today’s modern spaces. Rituals of birth, death, marriage, puberty and other significant changes continue to be a part of our everyday lives, and in some places, they continue to play much more than an only ceremonial role.
Body art made and colored with clay, plant extracts and other natural examples of paint existed in most of the tribal cultures dotted throughout history and around the world. Used to mark important ceremonies and turning points in people’s lives, such as weddings, births, deaths, spiritual rituals, preparations for war or hunting, and the act of children becoming adults, this regal and poignant form of expression is still prevalent in many indigenous communities around the world today. Other ritual-based forms of art include tattoos, henna, and scarification.
The meanings of the various forms of body painting are diverse and profound. They can represent the origins of a person, the positions they hold now and what they have achieved and experiences. They also represent their symbols of power, who they are in the community and as a person, protection from evil, bravery, beauty, mourning, transformation, connecting with words, not our own. It connects with the earth and the spirits of the animals around us, personal preparation (such as silence, isolation, abstinence, and fasting) and fertility.
Of course, not all body paint has positive connotations. For instance, in the last century or so, some countries around the world have developed an association between body painting and the Mafia, as well as directly crime in general. Japan is only one example.
Next for your consideration, the recent history of body art.
Around the 1960s, artists from all over were looking for new ways to express themselves, as they always were and as they always will be. New methods of painting were sought, provoking and shocking, and many different artists adopted body painting into their repertoire.
A variety of different artistic movements sprung from the concept of body art, much as the Fluxus and Happening movements, where the focus was on the moment the paint hit the skin, as well as the act of putting paint on the skin, rather than what it looked like afterward.
On the other hand, artists like Verushka created beautiful, breathtaking, attention-grabbing images of transfiguration where the body seemingly melted into the surrounding environment, sometimes becoming an object!
Finally, we come to the modern, contemporary practice of body art.
In today’s society, body art is treated with much less passionate chaos than it was even thirty years ago. Nowadays, beautiful pieces of body art are not uncommonly spotted roaming the streets, weaving in and out of the crowds of passerby undulating around them. Others are walking advertisements, no less beautiful in some cases but using their eye-catching nature for another purpose.
Airbrush, special effects, commercial and fashionable body painting, competitive body painting, action body painting, performances of body art, and UV body painting have become more and more prevalent in recent years. Today, one can find a nearby venue to get their body painted for a steal more easily than they can get a place to fill their car’s gas tank.
The great thing is, it’s just another step in history. Another flash of light. Who knows where body painting will go from here?