Note: This post contains images of painted nude bodies.
Since relocating to New York City 18 months ago, San Jose native Trina Merry has made quite a splash with her Lost in Wonder bodypainting series. With paint, nude figures and perfectly angled photographs, Merry camouflages her subjects against renowned New York City landmarks.
The project sprung from a gallerist's advice: “If you’re going to make it in New York City, you have to shout from the rooftops that you’ve arrived. And you only get one shot at it.”
Honing her visual concepts and bodypainting techniques in San Jose from 2006 through 2013, Merry’s Art Alive exhibitions and installations typically involved teams of bodypainters and models all working together under her direction. But after relocating to New York and trying to survive on her art, she had to find a way to make a dynamic impression without resources and helpers.
“I started to think about what I could do by myself as simply as possible. I realized I needed to try to not fit into anything that was going on at all. I needed to pioneer something and what would ‘shouting’ look like to me in my art -- but doing it in a way that was me... not doing it in a way that would sacrifice my ethics of what I feel is important to me as an artist. What does ‘This is me making an impact’ look like? So I decided to paint one model into the iconic New York City skyline. Just me, one model, my paints and camera, and the hope we don’t get arrested today,” says Merry.