10. Marisa Miller
American model and actress, best known for her standout appearances in the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated (2008) and her work for American lingerie designer and manufacturer, Victoria’s Secret the previous year, Marisa Miller‘s endeavors have been called “the return of the great American supermodel.” According to Carmel magazine, “She’s [a] well-balanced, genuinely warm and nice individual, seemingly unaffected by all the accolades heaped on her over the course of her modeling career.”
We think her 2008 shoot done in Turks and Caicos is a stunning example of how great body painting can look almost identical to clothing; only when you look really, really, really closely can you tell the difference. Incidentally, in the same year as the shoot, she made her debut at number one on the 2008 Maxim “Hot 100” list.
9. Joanna Krupa
Who doesn’t love killer whales? Well, seals for one, but most of us think they’re the bee’s knees, and what better way to spend an afternoon than to see them frolicking around in a marine aquarium, right? Wrong — at least according to the rather de-lovely Joanna Krupa. The Polish-American model and actress adores the little fellers and will do whatever it takes to bring public awareness to their rights; for one thing, locking them in an aquarium tank is a big no-no for her.
Mostly known for appearing on Dancing with the Stars, Top Model, and The Real Housewives of Miami, Krupa is also a passionate animal rights activist and has publicized her commitment to the work of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
In 2015, she took a stand and chose to be painted from head to toe in the black-and-white patterns of an Orca.
Let’s first make the distinction between a sweaty ancient warrior’s body paint and today’s body art. Better yet, we’ll let American singer, songwriter, and actress Beyoncé show off the stunning skills of body artistry with a glimpse of the cover of Flaunt magazine from four years ago. Queen Bey appeared painted in molten gold and bronze jewel tones, which set off her already incredible figure; it’s almost as though someone had covered the Venus de Milo in glue and poured glitter over her, only better (sorry, Alexandros of Antioch). The 2011 shoot was the brainchild of photographer Tony Duran and came to pass in the 2013 edition of the popular American satirical fashion and culture magazine.
This isn’t the first time Bey has been painted up for us. Earlier this year, we were treated to an hour-long video-commentary-diary thing about her new album Lemonade in which she and her dancers are seen adorned with stunning designs by Nigerian-born artist Laolu Senbanjo.
7. Jennifer Lawrence
Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence is, according to Wikipedia, “The highest-paid actress in the world… her films have grossed over $5.5 billion worldwide. She appeared in Time’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2013 and Forbes Celebrity 100 the following year and in 2016.”
But we’d like to direct your attention, not to such frivolous whimsies of status and wealth; no, we want to talk “X-Men: Days Of Future Past,” and more specifically, Mystique. You see, as Shakespeare once said, “Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye,” and we suspect he said it after watching the franchised superhero film based on characters from Marvel.
For her close-up shots, the Mail Online reported that Lawrence had to endure hours of head-to-toe airbrushing to achieve the “real skin” look; she got a full three layers of blue paint and another five layers of “splattering effect” ending up the blue beauty beheld by the Bard.
6. Kelly Brook
Sticking with PETA activism and in a long line of high-profile celebs dedicated to their cause, we turn our undivided attention to the home-grown talent of Kelly Brook.
Back in 2011, Brook was painted over in a seductive, scaly snakeskin that got tongues wagging. It was all done in response to PETA’s campaign at the time, “Whose Skin Are You In?” which highlighted the sickening trade of exotic and endangered animals killed for high-end fashion garments.
Brooke unveiled the campaign in London and said of the appalling industry, “It makes my skin crawl to think about the violent ways snakes, lizards, alligators, and other exotic creatures are raised and killed for boots, bags, and belts.” Good for her. What’s more is she’s a proper advocate of faux leathers and furs, which are, these days, so well made you can’t tell the difference.
5. Demi Moore
Sometimes, a picture says a thousand words. We think in the case of “Demi’s Birthday Suit,” it says, “Was there ever a woman who could look so stunning in Trompe-l’œil body-painted menswear?” OK, it’s the not the catchiest of slogans, but it has to be said that the 1992 cover of Vanity Fair magazine featuring Demi Moore beneath the artwork of Joanne Gair is both memorable and eye-catching to this day!
Gair and the photographer took a punt on the body art during the week-long shoot in California. Gair painted onto Moore which took, “15 hours to apply . . . because it was difficult for Gair to build the proper paint density, and Moore’s body heat melted the paint.” What’s more, Moore was required to sleep in the suit to ease the progress of the next day’s filming.
Many consider the cover photograph, and Gair’s ground-breaking work, as signaling “the introduction of modern body painting to the world.”
4. Lauren Goodger
Using her celeb status to give PETA a helping hand just as Kelly Brook did the previous year was Lauren Goodger, who, in 2012, got painted up as a snake and was snapped lying naked in a pool of fake blood. The Only Way Is Essex star’s involvement in the campaign to highlight the sacrifice of reptiles to the fashion industry served as a useful publicity boost for Goodger and some lick-slapping eye-candy for the rest of us.
The photos were taken by photographer Trevor Leighton. Quoted by The Drum online zine, Goodger says, “I hadn’t realised how inhumanely these animals are killed for fur, leather, skin etc. so I think it’s really important to raise awareness of this for other people who, like me, don’t realise the true severity of the situation.” Ironically, though, Mail Online reported that later that night, Goodger went out in a leather jacket. Errr…
3. Daniella Sarahyba
Let’s stick to our copy of the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated and have a little gander at another stunner, namely Daniella Sarahyba. Brazilian-born Sarahyba actually modeled for every swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated between 2005 and 2010 and according to Wikipedia is currently under contract with H&M, Spiegel, and Benetton. In addition to possessing an outstanding modeling career, she was the subject of several Joanne Gair (Demi Moore fame) body paints for the Sports Illustrated 2007 issue and landed themed t-shirts and bikini bottoms.
This picture is from Sarahyba’s 2007 photoshoot in which she’s seen sporting a pair of green shorts and a lovely little black top with the faces of the four members of American hard rock group KISS strategically placed. (Incidentally, we think Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley have the best seats in the house).
2. Jessica Szohr
Jessica Karen Szohr began her on-screen endeavors by appearing on TV shows such as “CSI: Miami” and “What About Brian.” She has gone on to star in many other films and TV shows including the 2011 comedy “I Don’t Know How She Does It” alongside Sarah Jessica Parker and Pierce Brosnan.
In a 2011 advertising campaign for drinks company SoBe Lifewater, Szohr got painted up with two different “skinsuits” made to look like a lizard’s scales, and we think the results are rather fetching. Talking to NY Daily News after the shoot took place, the actress raved about her time in front of the camera: “It definitely had an edgy vibe that I loved.” In fact, the shoot took place amid the jungles and waterfalls of beautiful Costa Rica, more likely adding to the reptilian vibe and suiting Szohr and SoBe Lifewater (whose logo consists of two lizards head to toe) down to the ground.
1. Sarah Brandner
Let’s have one final look at Sports Illustrated and this time focus on German model Sarah Brandner who was featured in the 2010 Body Painting Issue of the magazine. Brandner has also done notable work for German magazine Bild, and GQ Germany, and after moving to New York last year is represented by one of the leading model-placement agencies in Germany, Place Models. She is also known for her collaboration with bag designer Lili Radu with whom she’s worked closely with on several occasions.
With over 10,000 followers on Instagram, it wasn’t long until Brandner’s stunning pictures from SI were feasted on by middle-aged gentlemen around the world. Let’s face it: not only does her set show off her natural beauty but it also exemplifies the skill involved in body painting as an art.
You may also like