Fans of Star Wars should get ready to rejoice and undress, as the fourth incarnation of the Extreme Body Painting show is making its next theme about everything involving a galaxy far, far away. The day of art, performances and next-level cosplay will be May 4, which is also the official Star Wars Day.
Cheryl Jarman and Chris Jungle — the team behind Basshead Society — will once again use the space at Project AI Dallas, where their third Extreme Body Painting Show was in January. Much like Basshead Society’s previous shows, attendees will see local artists transforming volunteer models into roaming works of art.
The decision to take on the iconic imagery of Star Wars came from the desire to always out-do themselves from the previous show.
“Every time you want to plan something, it has to be the better than the last time, or it has to be something different,” Jarman says. “You don’t want people to be like, ‘Oh I just saw that.’ You don’t want to make it the same. So basically with talking with my artists they stated, ‘Hey, why don’t we do something fun where we can do our own rendition of a character.’”
Many of the artists who have worked with Basshead Society on their shows have experience with prosthetics and special effects, and using Star Wars as an inspiration point allows them to take the body art one step further. By taking a character such as android C-3PO as a basis for their creation, the artists will then put their own original spin on the model. While artists have been instructed to pick different characters to avoid a room full of Boba Fetts, two body painters can have wildly different final products from the same starting character.
The same rules do not apply to audience members, who are invited to dress up as their favorite Star Wars hero or villain to celebrate the day with Dallas’ artistic community.
“We encourage them to come dressed as their favorite character — it’s a costume party,” Jarman says. “So not only are you going to see people painting, we’ll have graffiti artists doing murals; we’ll have a lot of things going on. We encourage them to dress up. We want them to come out, have fun, come dressed up as your favorite character, whatever you want to do. And it doesn’t even have to be Star Wars if they don’t want it to be — just come have fun.”
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There will assuredly be many Darth Vaders and maybe even a Jar Jar Binks in attendance, as the organizers have seen steady growth in each show. It’s an event that is just as dependent on artists’ participation as the ticket buyers, and part of the growth is due to the enthusiasm of body painters returning to demonstrate their skills in front of an audience. Jarman was proud to see artists that have since moved away from Dallas eager to return for another chance of showing off their work.
The continued success of the Extreme Body Painting shows has not only been instrumental in introducing residents to an art community they otherwise wouldn't have known, it’s also served as a way for the artists to meet one another.
“They’ve actually networked now,” Jarman says. “We have a huge group on Facebook. We went from, when I first started the group as an idea, I think we only had like 10 people, and within three or four months I was up to like 300 people. Now we’re at almost 500 people and it’s been nine months. We continue to work hard on building that art community, especially with body painters. Because it’s not just body painters that will be there, we’re going to have artists that paint live, we’re going to have graffiti artists there. It’s really just about the culture — bringing all the different magical pieces of Dallas together.”