The Body Slam art contest was a space for artists to create art in a time sensitive, circumstantial setting. The artists were challenged to form a lasting impression on viewers using a medium that is unique and striking but ultimately temporary.
Crescentia Volz’s Tiger Lily was successfully developed and artfully executed. Like the artwork’s title suggests, Volz ultimately created a character. She was challenged to consider the audience’s experience of her live painting. She organized her process in a way that would allow viewers to watch her character come to life. “I planned the best way to paint the design, to maximize my time and make it interesting for the audience to watch” Volz explained, “I drew my design onto the base coat with a makeup pencil in a light green.” The audience was able to see the artwork develop from the base coat, to the under drawing and to the final artwork.
Volz also embraced chance by utilizing her randomly selected model as a base for her character. She took advantage of her model’s unique hairstyle. “While the base coat dried, I turned my model’s pixie haircut into a field of grass and a lily,” Volz said, “I used fashion makeup to emphasize her pixie nature.” The muddy texture on the arms and legs suggested her playful and impish demeanor. The bright green leaves and vibrant orange and pink flowers represented nature, with which nymphs and fairies are often associated. The subtle placement of glitter conjured the ethereal essence of the character.
Tiger Lily is a wonderful example of a temporary work that creates a lasting impression. Volz created a memorable artwork and a marvelous character through thoughtful consideration of her canvas and her skillful painting.
BODY SLAM COMPETITORS:
Lynch wanted to convey the feeling of being underwater. She loves marine life, especially drawing it. The ocean is a mysterious and almost alienesque part of the earth, but it’s also very calming. For her very first body painting experience she decided to paint something comfortable, and hoped the audience would connect with the work on a similar level.
Weis’ aesthetic tends to lean towards incorporating the human form with nature to convey human connection with the earth. She likes to use natural or found materials as media for this same reason. So it was natural for the artist to incorporate the tree as a part of the model’s body. The model was literally part of the tree with the trunk wrapped around her leg, thus symbolizing humanity’s ultimate connection with nature.
Mackie chose to interpret the landscape of the body as an expression of the DNA connection that human beings have with nature and other extraterrestrial life forms. Mackie compares it to ancestry.com, but instead bringing out the various possible hidden beings from throughout the universe that could be residing inside us. The artists painted multiple beings coming out of the model’s torso to suggest that these beings are available to the model’s consciousness through his homo sapien DNA. The artwork implies that the model’s limbs are woven from the fabric of plant life and the soul of Mother Earth.
Andonia Giannakouros and Emily Appleman
In Giannakouros’ and Appleman’s work, they portrayed the ties between the human soul and the Earth through the four elements. The intense pigmentation of the tree represents Fire and its association with life, energy and strength. The clouds represent Water as a cleansing power. The clouds were centered around the face and spread to the torso to express the healing power of the mind. The night sky portrays air. The roots of the tree represent earth and its strengthening force.
Terri Berg and Angelo Joseph
The concept of Berg’s and Joseph’s piece was to beautify the model with images of rejuvenation, goodness, and joy. They used imagery such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, animals and a sun motif, as well as positive phrases such as “be well” and “be love.” The imagery and phrases convey the living quality of being healthy and happy. The artists believe that the only way to effectively rebel is to be positive.
About The Author:
Jackie Banigan has a BA in Art History and a certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Iowa. She has interned in education and outreach at the Dubuque Museum of Art and the Figge Art Museum. She has a penchant for supporting local artists and developing community art programs. Banigan is a volunteer at the Dubuque Area Arts Collective.