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By Chelsea Rose
8" x 10"
Fine art archival Giclee print
-item will come packaged with sturdy backing enclosed in an archival crystal clear envelope for protection
----The art print will not have the typed copyright information printed on it -----
Artist introduction and statement:
"This body art and photography expedition was a concept I carried around within myself for many years before I fully manifested it. I have always held a personal fascination with body art. As a young girl I would study photos taken in the early 1900s of tribes all over the world who adorned their bodies in such a wide verity of ways and means. I marveled at the designs and burned with inspiration. These people did not fear their bodies! These people were not compelled to cast fabric prisons around each form and contour of their anatomy but instead stood proud in their nakedness, honoring their bodies by adorning them as if they were the most precious of gifts. I began to do the same with my own body and the bodies of friends taking markers to my flesh, writing out a secret alphabet so sure that each spiraling offshoot birthing from the tip of my pen spoke, “Know thy self, Love thy self.”
Throughout my adolescence I increasingly saw young people, especially young girls, proudly wearing their testaments of sorrow and self hatred as the raw and bloody etching of self mutilation on their dear arms and legs. It struck me as a warning sign: there is great healing needed in this society. The self loathing I saw around me seemed to grow more and more oppressive with every year and I yearned for a way to reverse the self-deprecating process that seemed to be poisoning en mass.
Years down the line I found myself offering free body painting in my art booth on Alberta street in Portland, Oregon during the monthly art walk nights that were filled with the thrill of freedom of expression, community and handmade curiosities. At surface value I was telling myself that I was offering body painting as a way to draw people into my booth so that they might look at my acrylic paintings and art prints but soon I was held captivated by the way my brush would dance across faces, arms and chests again in that secrete alphabet I had discovered as a young girl.
I came to the realization that I had to do a body art/photography series, specifically focusing on exploring the pure truth of how sacred and powerful the female body and soul is. I yearned to light up a prayer with my work that spoke above and beyond all the centuries of demonizing propaganda aimed at the female form and conscience.
Thus, I began the project one cold December morning in 2009 and finished my project on July 2010. I painted a total of 12 women with either black or white water-based body paint. Each body painting and photo shoot was done inside the local art gallery T.Ruth Artspace on the corner of NW 24th and Thurman street in the North Nobhill district of Portland, Oregon. The body paintings took around 6 hours to complete each and the gallery was left open while we worked inside. The photo shoots were done downstairs on the main floor of the gallery in front of two large windows at street level, allowing the community to watch and interact with us as if we were a live art instillation. It was a thrilling thing to share with the public.
My intent with this women’s study body art expedition is to chant again and again that we are beautiful in our personal paths and dreams. Our flesh is a miracle fabric that contains and acts as conduit for the cosmic mystery that goes far beyond this physical plane of existence and so we must honor our vessels as being sacred and gorgeous, whether round, skinny, wrinkled, flat, bent, brown, pink, smooth, or scarred.
-Chelsea Rose Rippel"