In the last few years, Andy Golub has become notoriously known as New York’s body painter and for having “stressful conversations with the police” for doing no wrong but only what he loves; painting on humans. His most recent project, Body Painting Day, was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, which brought together hundreds of nude models and more than seventy artists for a naked march to the United Nations.
“My art is always evolving. I started with illustrations, and then I began painting on canvas, then murals and paintings on objects such as cars, tables, hats, etc. Eventually it was time to paint on live human beings. Once I started painting on people, I kept doing it because body painting forms a unique connection through art and each model inspires a different piece of art.”
Considering the many times the artist has had to deal with the police due to the nature of his practice, he remains completely invested.
“I persevere because I believe that bodypainting has an impact on people, on the public. I know that what I am doing is legal and I have great legal representation. I don’t want to get arrested, but if it happens, it’s something I can deal with.”
What roll does body type play in the painting process?
“It plays a huge roll. Firstly painting on a person who is very large, for example changes the style of the painting itself. Additionally, more than that people identify with their own physicality. My art connects with the body and the spirit. It’s all connected. “
At a recent interview for Young Naturists America, one of Golub’s models, Kiki, shared this about her body painting experience:
“Here I was at Fashion Week, a plus size female model surrounded by the super skinny and beautiful people of the modeling world. I wasn’t sure how they would react to seeing me and my body on display. But as I stood there getting painted, watching the looks on people’s faces, saw that people were smiling and enjoying it, I begun to open up and enjoy myself. It was no longer about the money I was being paid to be there, but the beauty of it all. The beauty that they saw in me and the Andy Golub body painting”.
We understand that trust plays a major role in this kind of collaboration between the artist and his idea of how to represent someone’s bare-naked body, which is often considered a piece of art itself. But beyond the beauty and the essence of this art form, there is one thing we can’t resist to ask ourselves: How does Golub’s wife of twenty years, sends her husband to work knowing he’d be surrounded by a ground of undressed and/or good looking people?
The artist says that his loving wife has always been supportive of the body painting.
“I think she sees it the way I see it. It’s not a sexual thing. It’s a connection thing. I think my wife and family are very proud of the work I’ve done and the impact that it has made.”
So, is body-painting art or crime? Post your comments bellow. We’d love to hear what you all think.