Orlando Barsallo appreciates a great body – from head to toe. While he is known in the cosmetic industry as a professional make-up artist highlighting the features of faces, in the body building world, he is known as a winner for the art of sculpting his own body. But, when given his options, his real passion is his love of body painting.
While in some circles, body painting has a vibrant life in the performance arts, Orlando simply enjoys using his creative ability to accentuate the human form. Whether transforming super human bodies into super human characters through his use of brushes, or simply defining the actual muscles and bones of his subjects as if their bodies were a life-size canvas used to illustrate the human anatomy. In either case, his talent to capture the beauty of a body is undeniable.
Robin B Gallery caught up with the buff-body Chicagoan artist to learn more about his work in a one-on-one interview.
RBG: How did you begin to body paint? How does it differ from being a make-up artist?
OB: I used to be a model for body painting and never thought that I would be a body painter myself. But then my niece and nephew lived in Washington, D.C. and I started face-painting them for fun. Then I decided to take my first body painting class at MAC cosmetic. As a body painter you are just extending the face to the body – so for me, it is the same.
RBG: How long does it normally take to sketch, then execute a body painting session?
OB: That totally depends on how I am planning to paint on the body. The model is very important because the body is the canvas. Choosing the right model is the key. I have painted in two hours, and also up to six hours.
RBG: For what events or productions have you painted bodies?
OB: To date, I have demonstrated my body painting in several venues like at Provocateur Gallery, Solixir “The Walking Dead” Campaign, and JHC Production Videos.
RBG: Do you paint both men and women? Who has been the most interesting “project” to date?
OB: Yes, equally men and women. I always look to my next project so I would have to say that my upcoming event at Robin B Gallery is my most interesting one.
RBG: What challenges do you face working on a human canvas?
OB: Full nudity was the most challenging thing I have done so I don’t really think there could be anything more difficult.
RBG: Is there a specific person that you would like to paint someday?
OB: Madonna for a woman and “The Rock” for a man.
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