The World Bodypainting Festival Turns the Human Body Into a Colorful Canvas


This is not your kiddie party’s face paint. The World Bodypainting Festival recently took place in Austria and in its 18th year, the competition did not disappoint. Artists from more than 45 countries come to the festival to compete in five different categories, including brush, sponge and airbrush. It is the ephemeral art form’s biggest annual event in the world, bringing in thousands of visitors to experience the colorful spectacle. Bodypainting can take hours to complete. Some of the temporary artwork can last a week, though competitors here only have to last a day. The festival was founded in 1988 by Alex Barendregt. “The artists that had taken part were so pleased with the event that they pushed me to do it again … it became, year after year, a larger and more professional event,“ Barendregt said in a 2004 interview. That’s certainly the case this year.

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