Greenawalt is one of the nations best and most sought-after body
Mark Greenawalt's Body of Work
The following article was published in the October 2004 issue of Playtime Magazine
Magazine, October 2004
Note: Click on the images above for full size versions.
Much of Mark Greenawalt's art will vanish less than twenty-four hours after it's created. It's art that's temporary and ephemeral, and while you'll often see two-dimensional photographs of his creations, the original, three-dimensional pieces have long-since disappeared. Mark Greenawalt is one of the nations best and most sought-after body artists. His creations range from the humorous to the breathtaking, and none of it is meant to last more than a few short hours.
Once a traditional artist, Mark now spends most of his creative efforts in painting human bodies. Having done work for Playboy and Razor magazine (and, of course, Playtime), as well as doing promotional work for Cutty Black and Bombay Sapphire, Mark has been attracting a national audience for quite some time. He's also an occasional presence at comic book and sci-fi conventions, and has even received kind words from comic book curmudgeon, Peter David. It's fascinating to watch him work, and it's equally astonishing to see the finished product.
Using a range of techniques, from airbrushing to hand brushing, from sponged-on liquid latex to splatter, Mark creates the average body painting in about two hours, but it can be grueling work for both the model and the artist. Usually, the model has to stand for the entire time, while Mark is often required to be in a variety of uncomfortable positions. The end result, however is always rewarding for the model, the artist, and the spectator.
Another problem can be that, once completed, the body/canvas moves into positions that can turn one-time straight lines into curves, and transform circles into ovals, which is something Mark has to take into consideration.
One of the most difficult parts of body painting for the artist is working within the strict timeframe involved. Mark has a short and limited amount of time to finish his art piece, whether it's for a photo shoot or a live event, and doesn't have the luxury of either stopping to analyze his work, or going back to make changes. The reward, of course, is the final painting displayed on a moving, three-dimensional human being. Mark said, "There's a shock value to it. I can paint the same thing on a canvas, but the fact that it's painted on someone adds a whole other element. The model plays an equally important role in making the image sell. So I can take the same art, draw it on a different medium, and get a hugely different reaction from people."
Despite the success and popularity of his body illustrations, and the fact that he's currently writing a book on the art of body painting, Mark has managed to keep his day job at Sullivan Design, where, as an electrical engineer and vice president, he creates blueprints for area schools, hospitals and hotels.
As would be expected, Halloween is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for Mark, so you may not be able to get him to paint-on a costume for you; however, the cost for a full-body illustration is far more reasonable than you'd expect, and is certainly worth considering for any special event you may be attending. If you'd like to contact Mark about having yourself or your partner turned into a work of art, or if you'd like to see more of Mark's work, visit his website at www.futureclassx.com .
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Unless noted otherwise, Photography and Artwork by Mark Greenawalt c2004
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