It’s been a while since I’ve done an interview here on Aussielicious and I finally got around to interviewing someone who’s work I’ve featured on here several times. Anthony is a professional bodypainter who does some amazing work. Enjoy.
Name: Anthony Larrisey for urbanFLESH
Location: New York City
How did you get into bodypainting?
As an artist, I continually look to new mediums to work with. I had seen bodypainting a few times, and thought it was pretty cool. I was so intrigued that I bought some product, recruited friends who were willing to model, and started to build my portfolio.
I love the fact that bodypaint is a living, impermanent creation. Yes, the work in captured in a photograph, but the true experience is to witness the fully painted model live and in person.
How long have you been doing body painting?
I’ve been bodypainting for about five years now, and I feel like there’s so much more to discover. Techniques, materials, etc. I have so many ideas and am continually inspired.
What are the main kind of clients for a body paint artist?
I work a lot in print–besides painting full bodies, I’m often asked to paint tattoos or small graphic elements for magazines like Zink and Out. Other times, I don’t “paint” at all, but buff and contour the model’s skin to be completely polished and flawless.
I also work a lot in events–painted bodies are always a hit. I’ve painted for events like Broadway Bares; and for clients like Lucky Jeans and Playboy. I’ve also painted for runway shows at New York Fashion Week. There was also a show called “The Body” at the Museum of Contemporary Art–that was an honor.
Where do you find your models?
Whether they like it or not, I recruit a lot of my friends! Other times, I’ll utilize industry resources, agencies or post ads. I’ve been known to approach prospective models in restaurants, at parties and even on the street!
Have you ever had any straight male models that have baulked at the idea of having a gay man paint them from head to toe by hand?
Nope. I’ve painted plenty of straight guys–I don’t think they’ve felt threatened or uncomfortable. I’ve been fortunate–the models I’ve worked with have all been fantastic (and I think they like the attention!).
How long does an average full body take to paint?
Well, it’s definitely not a process for the fidgety! An average session takes about six hours, but depending on the detail and coverage, add a few more hours to that!
You have to get pretty up close and personal to the models, how do you ease their anxiety or nerves?
Typically the models I work with have a certain freedom that they exhibit. Bodypainting accentuates definition, structure and cuts, so the models are typically only too happy to see my work showcase their hard work at the gym. But, of course, for the shy, I tend to put them at ease and give them an understanding that even though my work involves nudity, it’s always executed in a completely professional setting.
Are there any designs or ideas that have just not worked at all?
Oh sure, but they never make it to the studio! I never go on a job with having tested whatever technique I’m including in a job.
Can you tell us about any exciting projects you have in the pipeline?
Lots! I’m working on an exhibit that I’ll shop around NYC. And later this year, I’ll be a featured artist in David Leddick’s The Nude Male for Rizzoli Publishing.
What advice would you give to someone keen on taking up bodypainting?
Jump right in! Anyone who loves creativity, exploration and originality will love bodypainting. There are technical skills involved like working with the skin, makeup, blending and materials; but there such a freedom of idea and expression. Of course, patience is a virtue, and it’s a tedious process at times–but the effect and outcome is worth it all!