US Body Artists Claim 2011 World Victory, Leaving a Brushstroke on History

First American Bodypainters to win North American and World Championships in the same year.

Pörtschach, Austria, July 10, 2011 --( As the new World Champions were announced in each category at The 2011 World Bodypainting Festival, a pair of artists who’d journeyed from the US held tightly to each other and to their vividly colored model, who had made the trek from The Netherlands with her family to be there. A year’s worth of planning and preparation and two days of six-hour painting competitions were about to bear fruit.

Each July, the best of the body art world from forty-eight nations gather in Austria to compete in what has become known as “The World’s Most Colorful Event.” A jury of distinguished artists review preliminary and finals paintings in each category and decide upon the new luminaries, bestowing crystal trophies, cash prizes, and gifts of artist supplies to those awarded. The festival, in its thirteenth year, draws tens of thousands to a picturesque village along lake Wörthersee in the Austrian Alps for thrilling onstage presentations of the painted models, live music on two stages, fashion shows, book signings, parties, a photography competition, and finally the World Awards.

This year, Team LivingBrush artists Scott Fray and Madelyn Greco of Reidsville, North Carolina, USA and model Kim Leeftink of Almere-Stad, Flevoland, Netherlands, listened intently as the placements were called for the World Award – Brush & Sponge (hand painted) Category. The trio had won the lead by a single point after the preliminaries, so the finals painting would prove decisive. Third and second place were claimed by South Korea and Italy respectively. The cheers rang out and cameras from around the world flashed as Fray, Greco, and their living canvas stepped up to claim the 2011 World Champion title for the USA.

In a year marked indelibly with success, Fray and Greco have just painted themselves into the history books in a medium that is gaining momentum worldwide. They are the first Americans to win both The North American Bodypainting Championships (held this past March in Dallas, TX) and The World Bodypainting Festival in the same year. As he was also the first honorary inductee into the International Fine Art Bodypainting Association, Fray noted, "It is the trifecta of career achievements attained in a single year. The modern resurgence of this art form is poised to become a worldwide phenomenon." Greco added, "There are some extremely talented artists devoted to bodypainting's success, we consider ourselves fortunate to be on the leading edge."

Though they have been painting together for more than 7 years, the pair began their competitive odyssey just over a year ago, taking home the second place trophy at the 2010 World Bodypainting Festival in their second-ever competition. Grateful to see this particular dream realized, they keep an eye toward the future. New bodypaint competitions are springing up around the planet in places such as Panama, China, Thailand, Venezuela, and Australia, and this art form, as ancient as tribal human culture, is quickly gaining glittering notoriety in the global art community.

LivingBrush Bodypainting
Madelyn Greco