By MIKE CHAIKEN
On Saturday, Dec. 7, Bare Bones will take art fans to a different dimension of the creative universe when it presents “Bare,” the art of Marissa Janczewska.
The evening will present Janczewska’s explorations in the world of body painting, complete with live demonstrations.
Janczewska has long been a commercial artist, either as a graphic designer or as a photojournalist. “I have always used some sort of art as my main source of income.”
The art of body painting came her way, said Janczewska, when she “landed a small face painting job in 2010 and (I) got really excited about the different possibilities of what I had always thought was a weird sort of low-brow art form.”
From there, Janczewska said, “Eventually, I began taking classes and traveling for face and body painting… and the doors just opened from there.”
Those doors proved to be fortuitous ones for Janczewska, “(Body painting’s) my main source of income and I can balance all of the commercial work I get with fulfilling projects like this show.”
Body painting seemed to be a perfect fit for Janczewska’s artistic bent.
“I love art history and fine art, but I’ve always been uncomfortable with the gallery system, the idea that an artist should work for hundreds of hours to only hope they sell some work,” said Janczewska. “Because of that, most of my influences come from outside of fine art, which I think is useful for the medium I work in.”
As for who she admires, Janczewska said, “Some of my biggest influences are tattoo artists who are pushing their genre like Peter Aurish and Xoil. I also try to see as much street art as possible, which is maybe the most exciting movement in art right now.”
“I, of course, take a lot away from other body painters,” she added, “and I’m really lucky in the fact that most of the great body painters are very giving. I’ve been able to take classes or be critiqued by some of my biggest influences in body painting, which is an absolute honor and something I don’t think is possible in other mediums.”
The draw of body painting is due to “probably a thousand reasons,” said Janczewska, “but I stick with it because of the process.”
“’My work’ is a group effort,” explained Janczewska. “It starts with everything I’ve taken in from past classes and influences, then gets painted into a very patient model with an equally great assistant, captured by a photographer (sometimes with another assistant), then printed on canvas by a totally other team that builds and ships them.”
“I think that process shows in my work and makes it not only more rewarding for me,” said Janczewska, “but more interesting for its viewers even if they don’t know what’s behind it. It becomes very layered looking and you can just see people try to figure out how its made.”
And how would she describe her approach to body painting? “The best way to describe (my work is) it is a process,” said Janczewska. “My work looks like paintings of paintings on people. Part of the fun for the viewer is trying to figure out how it’s made because my work is such a layered process.”
Body painting, for the most part, by its nature is temporary… unlike some art that is created for posterity. But this temporary nature of body painting is the draw of the form for Janczewska. “One of the hardest aspects is that it has to be created really quickly and only lasts a short while. It’s part of the genre and shapes the work.”
In regards to the Bare Bones show, Janczewska said she was excited for the opportunity “because it will create a space for more fine-art body painting.”
And to those who venture out to the West End of Bristol on Dec. 7, Janczewska said, “(My art is) a genre they’ve likely never seen done before.”
The reception for “Bare,” which is sponsored by Hartford County Tattoo, will be held Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bare Bones, 156 School St., Bristol. Admission is $10. Supporters donation is $10. No one will be turned away. Artist Tree Tea House also will be open.
For more information about Janczewska, go to www.KScopeArt.com.
By MIKE CHAIKEN