Facing the Paint

Face painting has been around for thousands and thousands of years.  It has been used as camouflage, used in battle to frighten the opposition, sports and used at funfairs and circus’ and religious ritual and spiritual purposes.  Indeed, the’greasepaint’, the ‘slap’ and the ‘face’ still goes on (and on our faces).  In the 1960’s ‘hippies’, the ‘flower children’ used to paint symbols on their faces and bodies, usually representing ‘peace’ or protesting against war. 


In the 80’s face painting had a resurgence and became very popular with children at fairs and amusement park and even in shopping precincts.

In this video James Kuhn makes some very interesting faces.  Some are humourous, some incredible, some work better than others, – but all are highly original.   Hours of work must have gone into making up and actually planning  the faces in this video and it is to the artist’s credit that he has never repeated himself.  My favorites are the pineapple – which really made me smile 🙂  I like the ones with the hands upon the face, the Lichtenstein woman, I thought was excellent, and Kuhn also pays reference to Dali with the ‘eyes’ face.  I really like the way the artist has painted the popcorn and the bus – the Tutankhamun is amazing!

Having enjoyed looking at that video, another video by Kuhn caught my eye.  You have to watch it!  It only last a minute, but it really made me gasp (and laugh).  There’s something very Francis Bacon about the way the artist has painted this Pitbull dog 🙂 and the music…… well I won’t spoil it for you.   Amazing – and very well done!

Both excellent Videos by bibleartwork Thanks!

Woad image from here

PLUS There’s another fantastic poem over on my Bookstains blog – Just click the button!

9 thoughts on “Facing the Paint

  1. That Kuhn one was disgusting! I think I prefer the pretty butterflies and cats you get at parties. Interesting post, Lynda, as always.

  2. I think this is amazing and agree with you about something Francis Bacon-like to the images. The corn cob made me laugh so hard I had to go back to that one. The sense of humor in this post was wonderful this morning! Thanks, Lynda!

    1. I think its the different poses the pitbull dog strikes that reminds me of a Bacon head coming to to life (what a thought :-0)
      I think this artist has a great sense of humour – love that corn cob too Leslie 😀 and the Tutankamun at the end 😀

    1. I know 😀 I can’t get over that pitbull dog 😀 How the artist has come up with that idea I do not know – but it’s fantastic, very well done – and very funny! Love the music too 😀

  3. Amazing and surreal work. There were too many good ones for me to choose a favorite from the first video. Does he paint himself or have assistance? How does he figure out the perspective and where on his head this would work best? The illusionism reminded me of sidewalk chalk artists and Arnulf Rainer ‘s exploration of his expressive face through photography. This was fun to look at!

  4. I think he does actually paint them himself
    He’s from Mitchigan, but I don’t know much more than that. I spotted a teeny bit more info and these works (the Scream and American Gothic)
    The pitbull video still reminds me of Bacon paintings at certain angles and it’s in this video that you see why he is also a performance artist (no quick face change here…)
    To paint your face in a different way every day of the year is quite a feat 😀 I’d still like to know how long the average face takes him.

    Thanks for pointing out Rainer Al, quite an interesting artist – I will feature him at some point I think! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: