The World Body Painting Festival – A Brief History.

Johnnie_Walker_Gold_Bullion_Body_Painting_Sydney_(9419682197)The 29th June will herald the beginning of this year’s World Body Painting Festival. Held in Portschach on the picturesque lake Worthersee, Austria and running until July 6th.

Started back in 1998 by Alex Barendregt, the festival had a rather bumpy ride in its early days. It was held from 1998-2010 at Seeboden, Carinthia, Austria. At the time Mr Barendregt was working for a travel agent, and tasked with organising a summer attraction to boost visitor figures for the Seeboden area.

With no real experience or knowledge of the art of face and body painting, Barendregt chose it after finding a photograph and small article on the subject. The poor visitor numbers, and lack of interest by the bulk of the body painting fraternity in the first year, didn’t deter him, and slowly the numbers began to grow.

With the increasing visitor interest, and amid objections from local politicians, the venue was moved in 2011 to its present location. Attracting the world’s best body and face painters from over 40 countries, and visitors numbering the tens-of-thousands every year, it is now the largest body painting festival in the World.

Many of the models taking part give their time for free. While both male and female models have to wear underpants, female models if they wish can be painted topless, although you would be hard pushed to notice when viewing the finished product.

From providing in its early days an outlet for what was a very small section of the artistic community, the World Body Painting Festival today offers a whole range of activities for those starting on the journey, or long standing professionals, in all aspects of body art..World_Bodypainting_Festival_by_Dimitri_Moisseev

Much of the painting is not just an artist’s impression of an idea. A fashion department is also run, the focus of the body painting being on fashion, and many of the world’s top stylists and designers work with the artists to achieve a given objective with the painting.

Over 50 workshops are held for painters, photographers, makeup artists and models in all areas of the art. Running alongside the workshops are competitions for all the different sections.

  • Contests at night using UV effects:
  • Facepainting Championship:
  • Creative and Special Effects Makeup:
  • Body Painting Photography Championships:
  • Awards for the Best Amateur:
  • Body Art Photographic Workshops:


The list goes on, but it doesn’t end there. All forms of live music are now also heavily subscribed to with concerts from international bands, DJ’s, street musicians and electronic music all being included, and run in conjunction with the body painting parades and shows.

From its humble beginnings in 1998, the 15th World Body Painting Festival seems set to be the most impressive yet, and looks sure to be around for many years to come.

Facts care of :-

Images care of :-

By Eva Rinaldi from Sydney Australia [CC-BY-SA-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

By Photo: Dimitri Moisseev, Artist: Einat Dan ( [CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


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