A real body of work, artists ditch canvases for humans at art festival

KLAGENFURT, Austria (Reuters) - Austrian model Corina gave her body as a canvas and patiently stood for six hours in order to be transformed into a blue Egyptian goddess for the annual World Body Painting Festival.

“I visited the festival last year and during the presentation of the models I got goosebumps, so I decided to be part of it,” she told Reuters at the festival in Klagenfurt, southern Austria, which attracts thousands of visitors.

Corina was painted from head to toe. Yellow and black boots covered her blue legs which were detailed with gold hieroglyphics above her knee.

An orange chest plate covered her torso with a blue beetle climbing from her belly towards a large gold necklace.

Corina was painted by South African Carla Gouws, a 20-year-old debut artist who only took up body painting last year.

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She was entered in the Brush and Sponge competition, one of 12 categories in the four-day festival which has been running for 21 years and attracts more than 200 artists from 50 countries.

Brazilian duo Jonathon Pavan and Alisson Rodrigues entered the team competition and turned model Thiago into a mixture of colorful animals for their work titled “culture of the world”.

Thiago had dragon heads attached to his shoulders, an elephant head painted on his chest with various animal prints on his legs.

German body painter Enrico Lein, 47, a past champion, said painting on people was tricky.

“Every subject is new, is a new challenge because each body is different,” he told Reuters while finishing his work, a stone statue with roses.

Reporting by Lisi Niesner; Writing by Patrick Johnston in LONDON