When I first encountered the body paint images of Nelly Recchia I was stunned, amazed and speechless. If there is a person who has really lifted body painting in to an artform I just found her in the artist Nelly Recchia. And it’s not only the body paint that’s of an intense beauty, the photography displaying her art is adding even more layers.
She plays with the human body and its capability of expression in so many ways, that I find it rather difficult to talk about her art in general terms or as an expression of one concept, one idea. I guess her ideas are developing while she works with her nude model, looking at the shape and it’s expression. I think this is the only explanation possible for the diversity in her body paintings.
But there are several thematics you see in all her work, in one way or an other. Like the pain theme, pierced body parts, opened torso’s and sharp weaponry. But as a real surrealistic master Nelly Recchia’s pain is easily transformed in to beauty. The Geisha is a nice example of what I mean, the open wounds painted on the body are becoming beautiful Koi Fish swimming out of her.
An other theme appearing in several of her works is the puppet. In one image this bounded puppet is a wounded woman hanging by her neck,
legs and arms amputated by a mysterious black woman standing beside her. An other image is showing a beautiful nude body painted woman hanging on some kind of strings, this image is called the ‘Petit Dancer’.
The body paint Art of Nelly Recchia has a dense complexity, it plays with feelings, fetishes and even flirts with surrealism. But the beauty of the nude human body and its intrinsic capabilities of expression always comes first.