Body Paint Illusions Transform Human Models into Animals

Body Paint Illusion Marwedel 1
Intricately painted and carefully posed, the human bodies serving as canvases for artist Gesine Marwedel are virtually unrecognizable as they morph into swans, flamingos and iguanas. The 25-year-old German painter employs performance artists to bring her colorful illusions to life, leaving their faces and other body parts visible as part of each composition.

Body Paint Illusion Marwedel 2

The ability to contort into unusual positions is a crucial element of making each of these incredible three-dimensional paintings work. Each photograph depicts not only the painted animal, but also its grace and movement.

Body Paint Illusion Marwedel 3

Body Paint Illusion Marwedel 4

“Body painting is not just paint on a living canvas, it is picking up the body shapes in a subject and the painting on the body,” Marwedel told PSFK. “It is the transformation of a human being into a breathing, moving, living work of art.”

Body Paint Illusion Marwedel 5

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Marwedel began to explore body art after providing therapy for disabled and autistic children through speech and music. See more of her work at her website, or in person at the World Body Painting Festival, to be held in Austria in July 2013.