Lorraine and I painted at one of our favorite annual events last night, the Halloween Party at Materials for the Arts. Their event grows each year, this year BD Wong was the master of ceremonies. We’ve been painting at this event for a while, which means many of the folks we have seen and painted before, like this young man who very much wanted to be scarier than his brother, so I made him into an Insane Clown Zombie. At our annual New York events like this one, folks are familiar with the freedom and creativity we bring to each face and that encourages us to try new ideas, like this combination of a Monet color background with a dancing figure from an Andre Derain painting, as I continue to explore putting dancing figures on people’s faces. And I took the opportunity to do some “sketches” for faces I’ll be painting for a Dia De Los Muertos performance by Calpulli Mexican Dance Company on Nov 3 and 4 at Pace University’s Schimmel Center.Continue reading
Bringing painted bodies to life in performance
In 2008, our company had the opportunity to create a performance for the annual Face And Body Art International Convention, thanks to the support of Marcela Murad (convention producer) and the collaboration of so many world class artists and enthusiastic volunteers, designed to showcase the talent of the participating artists and demonstrate the potential for painted body stage performances. In just a few days, working under the direction of Lorraine, we all put together a show including UV Action Painting, Jinny’s Singing Faces, the Metamorphosis Models by the convention artists, the Nao Dance Company and the epic tale Li Chi Slays the Dragon. Click here for the program listing the participating artists: PROGRAMbodiesAlive
Here are some of the videos:
to return to our website: www.agostinoarts.com
Bodies Alive! at the Odd Ball
Painted Body Fashion Show featuring models painted by guest artists for Real Art Ways annual Odd Ball.
For the 2009 Odd Ball at Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT , the entire evening was bodypainting as performance art. Here’s a video. Fotos and more at: The Odd Ball
After the weather-frustrated weekend I was very glad to finish up this Halloween painting faces in the type of situation I really enjoy, for lots of kids and adults at a New York City Parks Department Recreation Center, with enthusiastic kids who don’t often get the chance for facepainting and adults as likely to sit down as the kids, because they want to have fun too as they accompany their kids trick-or-treating. Just as we were starting to set up some kid in a costume came in to ask what we were doing and when I said we’d be painting faces he yelled out “great!” and ran out of the room to tell the others. And we had just enough of a crowd to keep us busy but not too busy to have to hurry the faces.
It being the actual Halloween night, most of the adults and many of the kids wanted to be spooky. I painted the Zombie Attack idea again, which is what I like to do with new ideas: repeat them several times in a row at different events to make them familiar enough that I can retain the concept in my repertoire. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I like to use Japanese and Asian theater make-up concepts for demons and vampires, particularly on women that want to look scary because these designs can still be exotic and attractive (rather than gory). The “Kabuki Demons” and “Chinese Opera Demon” are those kinds of faces, loosely inspired by traditional makeup designs.
Hope you had a wonderful Halloween!
From their web site:
Founded in 1978, Materials for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, provides thousands of NYC’s arts and cultural organizations, public schools, and community arts programs with the supplies they need to run and expand their programs. MFTA gathers materials from companies and individuals that no longer need them and makes them available, for free, to the artists and educators that do. In the process, hundreds of tons are removed from the waste stream every year and kept out of landfills, which helps sustain our environment, promotes reuse, and reduces waste. MFTA helps artists realize their visions, provides students with a richer educational experience and furnishes businesses and individuals with a simple and efficient way to enhance the cultural life of their city.
In my Transformations Facepainting company, we’ve set a goal for ourselves this year to match the way we paint faces to suit events with special themes, working to alter both the imagery we use and the style of the facepainting. It’s a way to be more supportive to the goals of these events and also a way to push ourselves into new directions. Earlier this October, we painted at the Summit Medical Group Sports and Healthy Living Fair ( http://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/about/ ), which is designed to get kids inspired to do sports and other physical activities to stay healthy. Jennifer, Britt and I decided we’d ask the kids and adults we painted about what physical activities they enjoy doing, what kind of active games they play outside or if they play any sports ‚ and then we’d turn their answer into their face design. It led to a lot of new, off-the-cuff designs. We had fun, we tried new things and learned from each other’s experiments, and we had people standing around to watch and see what new idea we’d come up with next — which is a large part of what we want to achieve with our approach to facepainting as a performance art, to make it as exciting to watch as to participate.
I was particularly taken by the work that Jennifer and Britt did. There’s a playfulness to the designs they painted that perfectly matched the “active play” concept of the Health Fair, and which seemed so appropriate to the kids we were painting. Whereas I was too concrete in my use of figures, both Britt and Jennifer let their figures bend and float on the face for a lyric, “childlike” effect — in the style of the illustrations of Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold ( www.faithringgold.com/ ), or the floating figures of a Chagall painting. Although the individual faces were quite beautiful, especially as they both use colors so well, the impact of this playful approach was best seen over the collective effect of the day’s faces, so I’ve put some of the fotos together as a slideshow.