Claudia Bacallao and Her Art of Body Painting

Photo Feature by Idania Cárdenas

HAVANA TIMES – Body painting is a makeup technique applied to the skin of the body. It is also known as artistic makeup or body makeup. Primitive cultures used natural pigments (mud, plants, charcoal, animal blood, flowers) to cover their faces and bodies. These could be ritual or even magical paintings, serving as camouflage for hunting or to intimidate their rivals in wars. Or it was simply used as an adornment, to beautify. Body makeup reappeared in the second half of the 20th century. It is the art of using the skin of the body as a canvas, covering the nudity completely.

Claudia Bacallao is a Cuban painter who practices this technique, using the body as a canvas to create her pictorial representations of landscapes or ideas that come from her imagination. This young artist started from scratch, as she mentioned in our short interview. Initially, she was a makeup artist, and that motivated her to develop this technique. Her inspiration comes from all arts: dance, circus, fine arts, and visiting the Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, Cuba. She started mixing paints in her room and began painting without ever having held a brush. One day, she told her mother, “This is what I want to do,” and began her project of painting on the body as a canvas.

She bought her paints and began to create her work on her own body, sharing it on social media. Many people started reacting, telling her that this was her path, and thus her career began. In the studio (justld_pics_studio), with photographer Jorge Luis Leon and model Juan Daniel, we conducted this small photo session where I participated in Claudia’s creative process, from her first strokes to the completion of this beautiful landscape.

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