Body Art is a unique niche in the makeup world. Tell us a bit about the technique?
In fact body painting is such an ancestral form of expression in mankind history. Have the human skin as a canvas is very special. It requires a lot of patience both from my model and the artist. I am mainly using water based body paints which take hours and hours to apply and wash away in a few minutes with a good shower. I sometimes use an airbrush but most of my work is achieved with brushes. My favorites are fine liner brushes since I love details.
What inspired you to start doing this kind of living art and for how long have you been doing it?
I have never said as a child " when I 'll grow up I will be a body painter ". I was more likely to become a ballerina but I would have had to leave the family's nest at a very young age to enter a professional ballet school and I did not want to. I was lucky to have my parents to nurture my early tastes and genuine interest for Arts. I don't remember this myself but my mother also mentioned I used to do strange makeups on my dolls so maybe there was already something there ! Years after studying languages and philosophy, I finally decided to pursue a career which would encompass various forms of arts theater, music, photography etc…and I concluded being a makeup artist would just do that. So I studied makeup artistry for a short year program in France. For our final we had to present a body painting based on a given theme. That day I had a strong and positive reaction from the jury and the audience towards my work. I realized then the magic of paint on a human body and wanted to experience and share these emotions again and again. I have been doing it for many years now too many to count ! ha ha !
Your skills are unparalleled. How would you describe your style in 5 words?
I find difficult to judge my own work but if I recall the words which have been used by others while looking at my images, they often are : elegant, unique, ethereal, majestic, powerful.I am also humbly hoping to be perceived as someone who is contributing to Body Art 's evolution and make it more than just "naked people with paint on " for those who don't know this art form well yet.
What is your favorite creation to this day and why?
Sincerely I cannot pick one in particular since I consider every collaboration to be a great experience. Of course it was fantastic to go toGwen Stefanie 's home on an early Saturday morning to test a makeup for one her videos, she was so kind, very humble and gracious. What a delight to have Dita Von Teese's gorgeous skin as a canvas or to work with Katy Perry's adorable dancers.When it comes to my personal projects, I tend to think each new image is my favorite because I try to raise the barre and challenge myself to do better. I must admit I am never fully satisfied and feel I have still so much to learn.
What is your definition of beauty and art ?
For me it is all about the emotion, to find something beautiful I have to be moved. When it comes to Art, I am drowned to Classic Arts because it is about the emotion but also an impeccable execution, I am not inspired by a dot or splashes of paint on a canvas as can be seen in the modern/abstract arts but deeply admire a Bouguereau or Caravaggio painting. I need to see skills. And as far as finding someone beautiful, I consider having a very strong personality and originality being attractive elements , one of my biggest role models is the 82 year old supermodel Carmen, not only does she have a uniqueness ( and amazing bones structure haha ) but, she also possesses grace, class and most importantly the intelligence and the kindness of the heart.For more of Nelly's work, visit www.nellyrecchia.com