Art will come alive Saturday, May 16 when the Body Fine Art Competition debuts at The Springs restaurant in Los Angeles.

This body-painting competition will feature 20 international make-up artists competing for a $5,000 grand prize and various sponsor donations.

Body Fine Art Competition: make-up by Craig Tracy
Make-up by Craig Tracy

This is the first time a body-painting event of this size has been staged on the West Coast. Nicolette Spear, a body painter and the festival curator, said she created the competition to bring together performance artists, body painters and body-painting enthusiasts.

The festival’s judges are well known in the industry: World Bodypainting Festival CEO and Founder Alex Barendregt, body painter Filippo Ioco and body painter and Skin Wars judge Craig Tracy.

Tracy, a world-champion body painter and longtime WBF judge, said he finds it refreshing that this competition is focusing on fine art.

“It’s just the idea that the more competition exposures and connections that body-painting artists have, the better the fine art body-painting movement. … Not women as leopards or in bustiers. We’re looking for something that’s more mature in its aesthetic,” said Tracy.

Competing international body painters include David Gilmore, whose clients include Mariah Carey, M.A.C. Cosmetics and AT&T; Johannes Stötter, a multiple award winner and WBF educator; and Cheryl Ann Lipstreu, a 2013 grand prize winner at Living Art America: The North American Bodypainting Championship.

Body Fine Art Competition: The Chase, make-up by Filippo Ioco
The Chase, make-up by Filippo Ioco

“The chance to see so much art in one night is a chance of a lifetime when this many talented people come together,” said Lipstreu via email. “To win a grand prize of this magnitude would enable me to attend the World Bodypainting Festival in Austria, as well as an European body-painting tour.”

The theme for the Body Fine Art Competition is The Sacred Body. According to Spear, judging criteria will include creativity, technique, composition and relevancy to the theme. Judge Tracy hopes to see something that hasn’t been done before and really shines.

“The goal always is to see quality work that is fresh because I’ve judged literally thousands of body paintings,” he said.

Body Fine Art Competition: Rug Messiah, make-up by Nicolette Spear
Rug Messiah, make-up by Nicolette Spear

Venue doors open at 4 p.m. for VIP ticket holders and 7 p.m. for general admission ticket holders; artists begin painting earlier in the day. Judging will begin at 8:30 p.m. and stage presentations at 9:30 p.m. The show will feature hosts and burlesque artists the Boulet Brothers, a competition catwalk, dance group Bijoulette and live music from Robbie Fitzsimmons. (The Body Fine Art Competition follows the WBF presentation style of using dancers and performance artists as models for the contestants.)

Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place. The second-place winner will receive $2,000 in make-up supplies from Jest Paint, Wolfe Face Art & FX and Kryolan Professional Make-up; the third-place winner will receive a donated airbrush from Grex. European Body Art is donating all the airbrush make-up for the competition, and Skin City and MEL Products are also sponsoring.

“I’m so excited to see old friends, new friends and be reunited with some of the most eclectic people I’ve ever had the honor of knowing,” said Lipstreu.

Visit for more details on the competition and to purchase tickets.