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Dodging people, traffic, and even at times, police, NYC bodypainter Trina Merry uses guerrilla tactics to create live painting performances on the street and documents them with photography. Her hyper-real illusions camouflage subjects into their surroundings. Juxtaposing the hard lines of architecture with the soft curves of the body, she explores the historic messages of gender placed on New York infrastructure: for example, the tension between the lines of the bridge with the imperfectly beautiful curves of a woman reaching ambitiously within a masculine structure or identity and voyeurism in the chaotic, neon-tinged streets of New York City.
As a multimedia artist, I use human models and body paint to breathe life into landscapes. In urban scenes where the view seems so cold and lifeless, I am able to juxtapose the hard lines of architecture against the softness of human curves to create images that are thought-provoking, provocative and well, magical. The real magic comes from the energy of working with a human model. From the first moment I worked with a live model, I was intrigued by a blank canvas that has a heartbeat.
Even though working with humans has its own demands because they sweat and have to take bathroom breaks, I embrace those challenges. It makes me — and the art — stronger. The way I see it, everything we cross paths with has its own rhythm, so I seize that spirit right at the very beginning of the process. When starting a camouflage painting, the model and I visit the city and decide on a location.
We pick out the pose; I photograph it and figure out the optimal perspective. Eventually their figures blend right in to the background. I paint what I see while constantly keeping an eye on the overall perspective. Each camouflage session typically takes one to three hours. There is a genuine intimacy as we work to create art out in the open in front of the world.
We are exposed not only through the nudeness of the human body, but also through the sheer nakedness of creating something from nothing. After all, body paint dates back , years. It is part of our innate human process. People are often fascinated by watching me work.
As I paint and photograph, tourists are taking photos of me painting on some very private areas of the human body. My models are undeterred by being under intense spotlight in public. The techniques I use for each project are different, but the message is the same: Among all of us there is an innate need to be camouflaged. Sometimes we just want to hide away from the world for a while, but there is beauty in that retreat. When we are ready to reveal ourselves, we come back to life and that is a beautiful thing.
Many of my models tell me they feel empowered and emboldened after participating in one of my projects. Those viewing the art may have the same reaction. When looking at the Urban Camouflage series, sometimes the human body pops right out at you and other times you have to look closely to reveal the outline of the human form.
Trina Merry, an artist known for her innovative work in contemporary fine art body painting, is taking on gender equality and body image in one of her recent works. It invokes hope, redemption, and freedom. She becomes the Oculus but is still embodied within herself. New York City is one of 14 cities in the U. Rose, who is a plus-sized model, described the work as a form of empowerment.
Merry herself was a model for body painting before she took her own to brush to others. She was struck by lightning while driving in Los Angeles.
The effect made being around electricity painful. Merry stood on stage, nude and was body painted. The experience gave her a new perspective on art. Art could be vulnerable. By using a living canvas, Merry feels as though her art is more effective when discussing issues such as race, gender, and body image, according to an article from The Argonaut. Painting nude women, in particular, allows her to reclaim the feminine body from the male gaze. While being painted into the Oculus, she felt free and liberated. Cityscapes and Skylines Camouflage Body Paint.
Urban Camouflage Body painting by Trina Merry Artist Statement: Dodging people, traffic, and even at times, police, NYC bodypainter Trina Merry uses guerrilla tactics to create live painting performances on the street and documents them with photography.
View fullsize. The result both touches the spirit and blows the mind. The work was meaningful to Rose.