If you’ve never heard of bodypainting before, it is exactly what it sounds like. Artist Andy Golub takes both to the streets and to his own studio to paint – yes, with a paintbrush – fully nude models. And yes, you can be a model too. Simply head to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza on July 9 to participate in Bodypainting Day. One hundred artists will paint one hundred models, which will be followed by a march and double decker buses full of models! To help the cause, Golub set up a kickstarter campaign to raise $15,000 – and is well on his way to reaching that goal, but there’s only one week left to contribute.
We spoke to the artist behind it all to learn a little more.
Examiner: How long have you been bodypainting for now? Why did you start?
Andy Golub: Around 10 years ago, I began painting objects. I painted rocks, skateboards, hats, furniture, cars and finally a mannequin. After that I wanted to paint a person. Once I painted a person, I realized that it was no longer just the form that inspired the art, but also the living spirit. I never looked back.
Examiner: How long has Bodypainting Day been in existence for? What are the details for this year?
AG: This is the 3rd year in New York City and the 2nd year in Amsterdam. In NYC, we plan on having 100 artists painting 100 models at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at 47th Street & 2nd Avenue. Live painting takes place from noon-4pm. In Amsterdam, we plan on having 50 artists painting 50 models at Museumplein. Live painting takes place from noon-4pm as well.
Examiner: What kind of people participate in the day?
AG: We are proud of the diversity of the participants of Bodypainting Day. Models range from large to small, old to young (18+), as well as male and female. We have also had transgender models participate, as well as models with disabilities such as cerebral palsy. All models are full nude and the point of the event is not to celebrate any one group, but everyone as they are.
Examiner: What is the public’s reaction to bodypainting today? How has it changed from when you first started?
AG: I think it has changed from more shock to more of a celebration. I did notice when I painted in Times Square shortly after the controversy over the desnudas, that people were more angry about the nudity. But I’ve been out several times since then and people seem more used to it now.
Examiner: Why did you decide to launch a Kickstarter campaign? What will the funds go toward?
AG:Bodypainting Day is a free public art event. That’s the whole point of it, sharing the art and sharing the human connection. That being said there are many costs involved including renting risers for public view, canopies, tables, promotions and signage, supplies, security and event staff, website and social media for both NYC and Amsterdam.
Examiner: How are you getting the word out about your art?
AG: This year I have been working on a series I call “human canvas” paintings. In studio, models lie on the ground and form a human canvas. The largest to date was 17 models. I am always keeping people up to date on my studio paintings as well as my work in the public streets.
If you haven’t been to Bodypainting Day, you really should check it out in person. It is one of the most positive experiences. So many people have told me how it has had a life changing impact. We want everyone to share in the event!