Body Art With Pashur House
Several years have passed since we’ve photographed a body art project that wasn’t abstract. Doing bodypainting well is time-consuming and requires not only a high level of artistic talent but equally high levels of integrity, flexibility, and personableness. One can have all the talent in the world but still fail if they get grabby with models, can’t work in less-than-perfect conditions, or has the personality of sandpaper. So, when I received a note from Pashur House saying that he was going to be in town this summer, I jumped at the opportunity to re-connect with a longtime friend and create something unique.
Pashur and I first met in 2004 in Atlanta and enjoyed creating several works together then. Right from the start, Pashur impressed me not only with his talent but also with his ability to work in far-from-ideal conditions—a too-dark night club, a crowded public art space, or a room hardly larger than a closet—to produce some of the most amazing work I’d ever seen. Documenting his work and his process was one of the most satisfying creative experiences I’ve enjoyed.
When I moved to Indianapolis, however, that dramatically interrupted our ability to work together. We’ve only seen each other once during this painfully long period of time and while there have been a couple of wonderful local artists who’ve shared their talent, there’s still only one Pashur. Hence, we’ve not done a lot of work in this area, especially the past seven or so years.
In the interim, Pash has been a bit busy. He moved out to LA, got married, traveled the world, has grown an incredibly impressive client list, and been a guest artist or consultant on a number of different body art-related television programs. The number of awards he’s received is beyond impressive. You can see more of his work on his website, CanvasAlive.com.
Pashur is known for creating much of his incredible art with an airbrush. However, traveling as much as he does takes its toll on his equipment and he arrived here with his airbrush not working quite as well as he would have wished. No problem, he’s equally talented with a paintbrush and set about painting our lovely model, Sabrina Nguyen, with a delightfully spooky design that we’ve intentionally held for this Halloween season. Shooting in private space on a web made of chain gave his work the perfect setting and Sabrina made optimal use of it throughout our shoot. I dropped in an original digital background to match the aesthetic.
One of the things that always concerns me when working with Pashur is that he makes the creative process look so damn easy I worry not everyone appreciates all the effort it takes to make these works happen. Like many artists, Pashur carries a sketchbook with him and comes to a situation armed with concepts he likely has been refining for several weeks. Painting can take anywhere from two to six hours or more. Once we’re finished shooting, processing these images requires careful and precise methodology so as to not diminish his artwork in any way. In total, I can easily say the images below represent more than 60 accumulated hours of careful work.
I’ve missed working with Pashur and we’re both hoping that we don’t have to wait so many years before doing so again. My tremendous thanks to both Pashur and Sabrina for sharing their talents. Click on any of the thumbnails below to see the images full screen.