By Frisco Rosso
Following on from my earlier guide to bizarre festivals, I decided a belated showcase of an omitted festival is necessary, namely the World Bodypainting Festival (WBF).
The WBF (which took place in Pörtschach, Austria over the first week in July this year) enabled artists from 44 nations to compete in categories including airbrush, UV effects, brush/sponge and face painting for the title of World Champion in their respective discipline.
This international event is considered the biggest of its kind in the world, which certainly accounts for the throng of talented artists and enthusiasts that descend on Pörtschach each year. As well as being able to see work on display by professional artists visitors also have the opportunity to enrol for numerous workshop classes in fields including body painting, airbrush work, makeup and photography.
Some stunning work was on display at this year’s festival with artists applying and painting to the set themes of “Inner fears, battling the invisible” and “Avantgarde – Innovation. Provocation”.
To encapsulate the event with its rich and varied programme, music and nightlife would require a mini-thesis so I’m sticking to the awards and artwork itself.
Although body painting and makeup artist Carolyn Roper didn’t compete at this year’s contest I feel she deserves a special mention. Roper won the WBF in 2007 in the Brush / Sponge category and in 2009 won the Special Effect championship to become the first artist in the history of the WBF competition to have won in two categories.
She recently displayed her body painting prowess when commissioned for a publicity stunt to mark the UK premier of the third season of US drama Covert Affairs. In similar fashion to Chinese artist Liu Bolin, Roper demonstrated urban camouflage at its best.
With more tension than your mother’s suspension, I am Frisco Rosso. I’m likely to deliver a few lines worth at any given moment regarding film, music, sport, books and anything morally unsound that strikes a blow between the eyes in the name of entertainment.