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Body Fine Art Competition

A close up of a woman's face in the dark, with bright yellow, green, pink, and white speckles on one side

Wittgenstein said the human body is “the best picture of the human soul.” By this standard, body painting would have to be considered the height of creative expression. However, it is such a common aspect of performance art that it has often been overlooked – and undervalued. A modern sensation since at least the 60s, body painting is of course an ancient tradition, and corporeal masterpieces have graced contemporary magazine covers for decades. Obviously, it’s not just for parties anymore.

It's natural to associate body art with performance art, (one thinks of Yves Klein covering women with blue paint and having them roll around on the canvas), which marks the beginning of the end of painting – but after all, carnival culture has spilled over into the mainstream – and it’s as valid a form of expression as any other. Let’s be honest, in this post–artisanal landscape, it’s refreshing to see some painted flesh. This Saturday, body painting officially submits its humble claim to being considered a legitimate art form with the first ever body art competition in L.A.

The Springs, 608 Mateo St., $20/advance, $25/door, $50/VIP

[Photo of Nicolette Spear's "Rug Messiah"]