In the July issue of Phoenix Magazine, writer Lori Baker wrote a short profile about me and my bodypainting artform. I think she did a great job trying to fit my rambling two-hour interview into the condensed PHX-FILES section of the issue. This photo of Myla bodypainted with the Arizona flag was set up specifically for the article and although I was very happy with the results, the magazine felt that the image was just a little to racy. They opted to have their photographer Troy Aossey shoot an image of me with my paints instead. I think they were missing out by not including my work in the magazine, but I was still honored to be included in such a prestigious magazine. I'd like to say a special thanks to the model, Myla, and the photographer, Don Crossland, for their efforts even though their work didn't make it into the copy. So now without further adieu, below is the article from the magazine.
Body Beautiful by Lori K. Baker
Mark Greenawalt has discovered the perfect way to get young, beautiful models to strip naked. The 35-year-old electrical engineer, happily married and the father of two, tells them he's a body painter. Beginning models anxious to build their portfolios gladly bare their skins to become a human canvas for his paintings of sunsets, tropical birds and wildlife.
His weekend dream job sounds like an X-rated fantasy, but Greenawalt, who began taking art lessons at age 9, quickly points out his work is about art, not porn. After sketching and painting for his entire life, he decided two years ago the human body would be the perfect canvas for his work, which he describes as "edgy," "sexy" and "intriguing."
The Alwun House's annual exotic art shows have showcased Greenawalt's work. He's performed live body painting demonstrations - using friends as well as some uninhibited attendees. He also was hired to paint four nude women as wild animals - a snow leopard, a cheetah, a peacock and a white tiger - for a New Year's celebration at the hip Axis-Radius nightclub in Scottsdale. Now he's selling a 2002 calendar, which recalls pin-up girls, but with a modern-day, artistic edge.
While body painting retains a counterculture cool, along with other forms of "bod-mod" - tattooing, scarring and piercing - it's going mainstream. When artist Joanne Gair painted a tuxedo on a nude Demi Moore for a 1992 Vanity Fair cover and swimsuits on models for a 1999 Sports Illustrated edition, body painting suddenly seemed chic. Hollywood also glamorizes it through special effects; one example is Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, who was painted to become the character "Mystique" in the move X-Men.
Greenawalt hopes one day to elevate body painting to the level of fine art. "When you mention black-and-white photography, people think Ansel Adams," he says. "A goal of mine is when someone says 'body painting,' people will think Mark Greenawalt."
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Phoenix Magazine, July 2002, page 27.
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Photography c2002 Don Crossland, Mark Greenawalt, and Troy Aossey, Bodypainting by Mark Greenawalt c2002
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