2012 Transformations — Face Painting Gallery

by Christopher Agostino

Faces, and a few bodypaintings, from 2012. Mostly by me and some by our company members.With the exception of the bodypainting models, all of these are photos of regular people painted at events around New York. The photos are arranged by name, rather than chronologically, so this year it starts with aliens and ends up with zebras and zombies. The names I give designs help me sort and find them, and also help me remember new ideas while I’m working. It’s very rare these days that I ask someone what they want to be before I paint them. Almost always I’m surprising them, which means I need to have lots of my own ideas ready, so I bring a list of names  as a reminder of design concepts. And it’s very helpful to have a name for what you’ve just turned somebody into, especially when you are being inventive. Part of the fun of surprising someone is talking to them about what they are becoming to build the anticipation, giving them the story.

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Click here for the slideshow:  2012 Transformations Video  music by Jeremy Agostino

The 2012 Transformations Gallery:

click on the photos to see the names of the images

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Face Painting Gallery — Yoga For Children Book – faces by Lorraine

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See a video on the making of the book: Making the book: Yoga For Children

The Locust

The Locust

In June 2012, Lorraine participated in the making of a book, painting faces of students participated in the Yoga program at the Girls Preparatory Charter School of the Bronx. Her assignment included designing faces to match the various poses, including some unusual animal poses such as The Locust and The Firefly. The book takes a playful approach to Yoga for kids, so Lorraine followed suit with a whimsical design style.

Learn, Play, Practice: Yoga for Children

by Patricia Buraschi with Beth Maderal

in collaboration with Girls Preparatory Charter School of the Bronx and Om International Yoga Health Society founded by Smriti Chakravarti

Painted Faces by Lorraine Zeller-Agostino

Photography by Toto Cullen

 from the author:

The Turtle

The Turtle

LEARN, PLAY, PRACTICE: YOGA FOR CHILDREN is for children, parents, and teachers interested in exploring Yoga in a mindful manner.  This book, written in a playful way, introduces children to the postures, the breathing and the alignment of Yoga. Through the introduction of these concepts, children will become  aware of positive traits in their own personalities, will develop a sense of mindfulness to those around them, and will build an emotional foundation that allows them to manage challenge-filled events. LEARN, PLAY, PRACTICE: YOGA FOR CHILDREN encourages children, with guidance from a parent or teacher, to develop their own Yoga routine.  We hope this book inspires both the children and adults who use it to further explore and practice Yoga.  We know from our own study and practice of it that there are endless rewards awaiting those who commit to the journey.  Sales from this book support the Yoga program at Girls Preparatory Charter School of the Bronx in New York and Om International Yoga Health Society, Smriti Chackravarti’s Yoga center in Varanasi, India. Thank you. We are grateful for your support!

website:  www.LearnPlayPracticeYoga.com     USA E-store    Europe retail orders

To learn more about our programs and performances:  http://www.agostinoarts.com

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BodyStory Video Experiment 1 — Peacock and the Sun Goddess

BodyStory Video Experiment 1 — Peacock and the Sun Goddess

The Peacock and the Sun Goddess BodyStory was an experiment for a class presentation at the Face and Body Art International Convention in 2012 (FABAIC). For my class on storytelling I tried out a new idea (new for me - see below) of taking the methods I use for telling a story via facepainting onto a painted body — using a fully painted body in choreographed movements to accompany my narrative. I had done this with several performers and much assistance to perform the story Li Chi Slays the Dragon as part of our Bodies Alive! production at FABAIC 2008, but that felt more like a theatre piece and this was meant to stay closer to the stylistic quality of storytelling.

The Peacock and the Sun Goddess BodyStory was conceived and presented as a live performance. As the concept seems well designed for video I took the fotos and video we’d made as documentation and created this video in iMovie. (The wonderful music is Indian Fever by David Starfire, which I found on the album “Six Degrees Free Indian Music Sampler” on Amazon. The model was a non-professional, so I’ll withhold her name) The next step in the video experiment will be to create a BodyStory design specifically for video, and explore what is possible without the design limitations inherent in a live performance.

See the BodyStories Page to learn more about other BodyStory projects, including “Is This the First Story?” based on an 18,000 year old cave painting.

To be clear, nothing in art is ever truly new—especially in an art form as ancient as bodypainting. In saying that these experiments feel “new for me” I’m not saying that I’ve invented something here. Aboriginal Australian bodypainting may go back 40,000 years in a continuous line and in some cases, particularly in the context of ritual initiations, their bodyart tells complex mythological tales (to name just one precedent). Nothing is new.

To learn more about our programs and performances:  http://www.agostinoarts.com

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Painted Bodies: Africa — Video of Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher

Wodaabe men decorated for the Geerewol celebration, making themselves attractive so that a woman might select them for courtship

Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher have been learning about and photographing the traditional cultures of Africa for 30 years, and have published several books of their work, including a seminal text on the subject: African Ceremonies (Abrams, 1999).

In September 2012 they came out with a book focusing more specifically on bodyart traditions:  Painted Bodies: African Body Painting, Tattoos and Scarification  (find it on amazon) and I received a link (via Craig Tracy) to a National Geographic Live! video of these two remarkable ethnologists talking about this new book and their journeys to these remote African cultures to create such a record of vanishing traditions.

VIDEO:   National Geographic Live! – Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher: Painted Bodies of Africa

 

Girls of the Surma people, Ethiopia. In the video, Carol and Angela discuss how fragile such traditions are. Omo River cultures such as the Surma and Karo are going through drastic changes this year, as a new dam on the river will do away with the annual flooding that their way of life has depended on.

 

To learn more about our programs and performances:  http://www.agostinoarts.com

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Face Painting Gallery — Lion King school production

Face Painting for a school production of The Lion King, by Lorraine Agostino and Jennifer Wade

We participated in a number of special face painting projects this past year, including providing the makeup for a school’s production of The Lion King in March 2012. My wife Lorraine did the painting with Jennifer Wade. There were 60 students in the show, and they had a limited amount of time to paint them, which tends to be the norm for school productions. Previously we had done face painting at Field Days for this school of students with special educational needs, and have seen that some of them are uncomfortable with the tactical experience of having their faces painted. For the school production, however, the students were really enthusiastic about being transformed into their animal characters by the makeup. They did the show for the school during the day, then Lorraine and Jennifer had the chance to see how it looked and make some design adjustments for the evening show for parents — and some of the school staff got painted as well.

The students and staff had made headpiece masks like the Julie Taymor Broadway production, and Lorraine worked within that same style with makeup designs related to African body art to support the masks rather than take focus from them. In a brief video, Julie Taymor explains that her use of masks above the head (rather than over the face) allow both the animal and the human (the actor) to be perceived at the same time, a visual equivalent to the way animals are anthropomorphized in folktales.

VIDEO:  Julie Taymor Talks About The Costume Design For The Lion King … 

Her use of the mask above the head evokes, for me, the ceremonial lion’s mane headdresses of Maasai men, and she uses a red makeup pattern for the lion characters also evocative of the Maasai.

Maasai warrior, traditionally wearing the manes of lions he had killed during his warrior age phase, arriving for ritual passage into elderhood, accompanied by girlfriends

learn more about our school programs at agostinoarts.com

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