Published on Thursday, 27 March 2014 00:00
This beautifully captured photo of a parrot is not all as it seems. Believe it or not, it is actually a model who, with the help of some body paint and strategic posing, has transformed into a macaw with rich red and gold plumes. This is the work of 35-year-old Johannes Stoetter. Stoetter is an incredibly talented body painter with immense creativity and a fine detail for painting bodies to perfection.
The artist who resides in Italy spent a total of 4 weeks planning the transformation of a female model into a hyper-realistic parrot. The actual painting work took him about four hours to complete and he spent another hour positioning the model on a tree stump before clicking a series of photographs from the right perspectives.
The end result is a perfect illusion of a parrot. However, if you look very closely, you just might be able to make out that the parrot's pointy head is created from the woman wrapping one of her arms around her head. The parrot's wings are formed from her right arm and right leg, while the striking tail is simply her stretching out her left leg. Stoetter said that he chose to have the model sit on a tree stump to enhance the life-like appearance of a bird resting. It is plain to see just how much work, thought, dedication and passion goes into the entire process.
“It was quite hard to take the photo, to tell the model how to pose to make the parrot seem as real as possible and also to find the right point of view for me to take the photo,” said Stoetter. “It was not easy for the model to hold the position either. The whole process took about four weeks from start to finish.” Although it was really difficult to pull off and it was nothing short of painstaking, the artist said that it is immensely satisfying, especially when people compliment him for taking such a nice picture of a parrot.
“I feel very happy with the final work. Most people’s reactions are ‘nice photo of a parrot, where did you photograph it?’” Stoetter gleefully said that even some of his closest friends who are familiar with his art could not tell the difference. “When they found out, they were really amazed, stunned and surprised.”
“Body painting is special because the artwork is alive and can move,” he explained. “While a canvas painting lasts forever, a body painting exists only for a few hours” Nature is his inspiration and he believes that the secret of good work is to always have a love for it. “I think and observe the world, nature, colors and shapes with very clear eyes and an open heart. And painting is my big passion.”
Stoetter was declared Body Painting Champion at the World Body Painting Festival in 2012, which isn't a surprise given his amazing talent and art pieces. This isn’t the first time the capable artist has transformed a human body into a realistic animal. Just last year, he made a life-like tree frog by painting on the bodies of five different models. He has also painted human heads to resemble melons and pineapples, and camouflaged a model to look like a pile of leaves. The photographs he feature are both incredible in their ability to portray the illusion and sensuality. You have to peer very intently to see the human, and this is when you know that there is a human present in the photos!