Body painter and visual artist Johannes Stoetter uses the human body a his canvas, transforming his living models into objects inspired by the natural world. Johannes spends up to five months painstakingly planning and perfecting each of his amazing creations. Each work of art then takes up to eight hours to complete using special breathable paint. The stunning creations, which include fruit made from painted heads, have earned Johannes the world bodypainting title.
Johannes, from South Tyrol in Italy, said:
“I did my first bodypainting experiment in 2000. Five years earlier I had the idea to paint a human body but it took me until I was 23 to try it. The experience was so special that I wanted to do it again immediately – I wanted to try it with different colours, a different model and a different motive.
I couldn’t imagine that there would be a way to earn money with bodypainting, but nevertheless I was totally convinced that I wanted to do it – I felt that it was my way. I found out about the bodypainting world championship and took part for the first time in 2009. To my amazement I finished fifth, and that was the beginning of a new bodypainting era for me. From that moment I was fixed on winning the world title. I started bodypainting full time, and in 2012 my hard work finally paid off – I won. It was one of the best feelings in my life.
Bodypainting is special because the artwork is alive and can move. While a canvas painting lasts forever, a bodypainting exists only for a few hours. The skin is very different to canvas – it is alive, it is soft and warm, it is a very comfortable base to paint on. There are some designs I can do in just a few hours while others take up to eight hours. In bodypainting you create unity between an image and a person. A lot of my inspiration comes from nature. I think I observe the world, nature, colours and shapes with very clear eyes and an open heart. And painting is my big passion. I think the secret of good work is to always have a love for it.”