When artist Brandon McGill looks at a person, he doesn’t just see a body, he sees something more — a canvas.
“Bodypainting boosts confidence, encourages creativity,” McGill told a panel at GX Friday, December 11. “When you’re painted, you let down all these artificial barriers.”
McGill has been body-painting since January 2013 and has continued to push new boundaries in the medium — evolving from paints and shading to latex and prosthetics. But maybe the project that has brought down the most barriers is Duality — his collection of photographed painted couples.
“Painting couples is a true, honest connection,” he said. “When you have couples painting together and take their photo, you feel like you’ve found a niche within a niche.”
He plans another series in 2016 called Contact, where he plans to use body painting to explore more than just straight or gay couples. He’s planning to paint other queer couples, other binaries, including polyamorous lovers.
“It’s an opportunity for me to learn more about other identities with this very intimate art form.”
Solo models often come forward willing and comfortable to pose naked for McGill’s body painting sessions. With different couples, the dynamic changes.
“Couples really enjoy painting each other,” McGill said. “It’s a way to be very, very close, but still in a non-sexual capacity. The relationship is stronger after. It’s in that moment together — when you say, ‘Hey, paint his thigh.’ Body painting goes with the flow of the body — and how each partner perceives the other.”
Check out more of McGill’s work on his Tumblr page.