The cavernous Dallas nightclub Project AI will be transformed into a living art gallery later this month. Models with their bodies painted from top to bottom will be presented next to the artists who spent hours turning the visions in their heads into walking reality. The flashes of photographers will be lost in the spinning lights from the disco ball overhead as the artistic community dances to the many DJs taking turns in the booth. This is the spectacle of the Extreme Body Painting Show.
The third Extreme Body Painting Show is Jan. 19, once again a result of the collaboration between Cheryl Jarman and Chris Jungle of the Basshead Society and Danny Williams from TribalifeArt. The two groups come together to provide emerging artists and models a venue to demonstrate their skills. The event is an exhibition of art and creativity, not a contest where someone will be named best in show. This allows artists from all backgrounds to work with their airbrushes, prosthetics and props in a judgment-free zone and also to give non-industry professionals a chance to participate.
“These are not professional models,” Jarman says. “These are models that want a chance to get out there. Because our biggest thing is giving that underdog a chance. It’s all body types. Our models, it could be your next-door neighbor, it could be your grandmother, it could be anybody. We’re about supporting all body types and all types of interests. Let people come and do things they’ve never done before. A lot of our models have never modeled before and so this will be their first big show.”
The entertainment industry is overflowing with multiple showcases for models and artists to get their big break, with the catch being the interested parties are required to pay fees to the promoter. What makes an event like the Extreme Body Painting Show stand out is the amount of work the Basshead Society and TribalifeArt do as a labor of love.
“It’s opening up a lot of doors for different people,” Jarman says. “And that’s the whole point — is bringing in networking, bringing these people together. Models are getting to meet photographers and videographers. They have these artists that are getting promotion time, because what we do for them is we videotape the whole thing, we create promo videos. They get all the videos for free, they get all the photos for free.”
Jennyfer Keohane has been a professional makeup artist for more than 20 years. Over her career, she has worked in almost every environment, from commercials to New York Fashion Week, to teaching classes at conventions, like Dallas’ Fan Expo. Her experience in the previous body paint shows that the team of Basshead Society and TribalifeArt produce makes her enthusiastic to return.
“It’s just everybody coming together and creating a pretty epic event,” Keohane says. “It was like nothing I’ve ever done before.”
Body art has always been Keohane’s passion, going all the way back to when she was attending school for makeup. Working on projects such as Fashion Week, Keohane is given a specific set of instructions to adhere to when working with the models, leaving no room for creative input. Taking part in events like the Extreme Body Painting Show allows Keohane full creative freedom to express herself in a judgment-free environment.
Keohane’s high-quality work draws clients to sponsor her work at exhibitions, and the project she’s been commissioned to create at the upcoming show is estimated to take three to four hours to complete.
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“Most of the artists go in not having a sponsor,” Keohane says. “The reason I ended up with a sponsor is because I put my artwork out there and I did a lot of promoting on it. The fact that I’m at conventions helps me a lot, because people get to see my work on a regular basis. They get to see the different designs.”
With artists like Keohane happy to return again and again, the Extreme Body Painting Show has seen rapid growth in both audience and contributing artists. For the future, Jarman wants to involve more local businesses to the events.
“My goal is to eventually get sponsors from local businesses,” Jarman says. “We have a food truck that’s coming out called Munchies Food Truck. It’s a local food truck business. I want vendors, like local jewelers, and different people to come together to help support our community. And that’s the biggest thing about this event, is I want people to come and get to know their neighbors.”
Tickets can be purchased at bassheadsociety.com.