The body as artwork World renowned body painter unveils 2008 calendar

Body painter John Vargas is as omnipresent as one can get; he lives in Union City, owns a gallery in West New York, has created works for Caribbean and South American nations, exhibited in Europe, and recently unveiled his latest work in New York City.

Vargas, who for over two decades has worked in various art forms in everything from promoting to music, to filmmaking, was born in Ecuador and moved to the U.S. in 1980. After experimenting with different media types, it was only nine years ago that Vargas found his niche when he substituted the canvas for human skin.

Vargas’ work was so highly revered that he was invited to the White House in 1984 where a picture of his piece, “Neglected Youth,” was kept for three years in the Rotunda of the National Archives Building.

Last Wednesday, Vargas hosted the official release of his latest artwork, a 2008 calendar. Following a common trend in his previous calendars, Vargas chose a central theme, eventually choosing “the pinup girl” as the 2008 trademark.

“I always admired the pinup work of Alberto Vargas. I tried to bring elements of the past and bring it to the present,” said Vargas.

Vargas notes how time-consuming the task of recreating the ’40s look is. With body painting lasting anywhere between five and 12 hours, Vargas gets help from his wife Anabel Vargas, who is in charge of the makeup and overall styling of the models.

During the exhibit at Club Duvet in Downtown Manhattan, Vargas’ models (including Playboy models, dancers, and a Miss Brazil winner) were on hand to celebrate the release of his new calendar.

Above are some pictures of the exhibit for those who couldn’t venture out on the snowy night.

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