The Moscow Body Art Festival is seen as an opportunity for people to share equal interests regardless of gender or social status. Not only in Russia, but practically around the world, more and more people are looking at tattoos (permanent and temporary) as works of art for which they desire to use their bodies as canvases for artists to paint on.
Back in the older Russian times, tattoos are known to be closely associated to criminal or prison life, but people are now living in a different time, and this view has dramatically changed. The younger generation now see it as a form of self-expression and identity. Because of the increasing interest in body arts, the idea of having a body art festival has been born. The Moscow Body Art Festival aims to create awareness and understanding of this form of art and will exhibit various forms of body art, such as body fashion, body piercing, scaring and tattoos.
The Moscow Body Art Festival is the coming together of different body art artists from all over the world. One form of body art that was showcased is painting using the human body as their canvas. The paint applied is temporary that could last for hours or even days depending on how well the person takes care of it. It is interesting to see how body painting art can start from nothingness to an absolute wonder that is almost seemed surreal. It is such a candy to the eye seeing the creativity each artist come up with.
Body painting models were taken to a special painting area with paint spray booth filters that allow the artists to paint in a confined area. The booths also have sheets or tarp-like protection set on the floor and on the walls before the body painting session is to start. These special filtration booths were temporarily setup during the festival with the intention of protecting the building from damage. Each body painting session could take an hour, even up to 12 hours or more, depending on the intricacy of the design. Once the painting session starts, the models would need to be still for hours while the painting session is going on. But of course, they are allowed to take breaks to stretch and relax (they are humans people after all). Once the work is completed, the models would be photographed for another 1-2 hours. It is rather tiring if you try to think about it, energy and patience is a must for the models.
Each of the artists used their own techniques in creating their masterpieces. For body painting, it is common to see the artists having an airbrush. This particular equipment is more efficient as it covers a larger area quickly, with that very smooth, almost perfect finish making it ideal for face painting and full-body painting. The airbrushing technique utilizes the use of a 1, 3, or 6 gallon Campbell Hausfeld air compressor and an airbrush to apply the paint. There are quite a myriad of information available about these airbrushing equipment, and what is even more interesting to know is that there is no one-size-fits-all airbrush equipment for these artists especially with the compressor. It is really a matter of preference and as to the purpose it will serve. As the saying goes, a good artist is not measured by the tools it use, but rather on how he uses them. While it holds true that investing on good equipment is a better practice, at the end of the day, it is the final output that matters.
Though airbrush compressors come in many types and sizes, and the quest for the best one is daunting, a couple of recommendation from the artists when choosing a compressor may come in handy:
· Choose a compressor that doesn’t make a lot of noise. The smaller the compressor is, the less noise it makes.
· You’ll be working between 5 – 25 PSI, so there is no need for a large air compressor. Three gallon Campbell Hausfeld air compressors work very well for most applications.
*PSI refers to the force of air. Face paint has a 25 PSI maximum, while body is from 25-50 PSI.
· A compressor with an on/off switch so it doesn’t have to keep running after the tank is fully pressurized.
· One that is not too heavy and preferably with a handle, especially when the compressor will involve a lot of moving around from booth to booth.
· A good air compressor is your best friend. Look for a compressor that can stand long sessions and does not burn your skin. Campbell Hausfeld is a good choice.
· When you have the budget, it is okay to not cheap out. Go for the trusted brands used by the more experienced body painting artists. We found that refurbished models from Forest City Surplus Canada are better than new low quality models from Home Depot.
The Moscow Body Art Festival is an enriching experience not only for the artists and models but to everyone who has attended. It became a haven for all body art enthusiasts, a place where like-minded individuals can appreciate beauty in its most raw form.