These Body-Positive Body-Painting Pics Will Blow Your Mind

Blink, and you might miss them. Artist Trina Merry has taken her body-painting skills and created a masterpiece by posing chameleon-like models of diverse body types in front of San Francisco's most lauded landmarks, from Lombard Street to the Golden Gate Bridge. The resulting photos aren't just striking; they're also incredibly empowering.

"'San Francisco: Visions From the Fog' has an interesting twist,” Merry tells Refinery29. “It is a female body-positive series that examines various stages of womanhood, including a baby, two pregnant women, and an older former Vogue model. The works also question censorship in the contemporary American media."

The detailed body painting for each model took Merry an average of two hours. Take a look at the innovative series ahead, and we dare you not to be inspired.
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Photo: Courtesy of Trina Merry.
"The works were informed by classical art-history paintings, including works by Raphael, Botticelli, Giotto, Manet, Matisse, and Frida Kahlo," Merry says. "The American flag is used to talk about how the American media is trying to cover up and censor art. The fine-art nude has been [in] the canon of art history for years."
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Photo: Courtesy of Trina Merry.
"[The project] is a continuation of a camouflage series where I am contrasting the soft flesh of the human body against the hard lines of architecture," Merry says.
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Photo: Courtesy of Trina Merry.
"Two of those models are actually sisters and grew up with a really body-shaming mother who came to the painting," Merry says. "They were all having some touching moments and amazing conversations. She’s healing, watching her children get painted."
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Photo: Courtesy of Trina Merry.
"A journalist once said something that I thought had a really great insight," Merry says. "A lot of people travel around the world and they gather things like a postcard or something from the trip, and instead I make art. I give energy back to these locations."
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Photo: Courtesy of Trina Merry.
"[The most rewarding part] for this series in general is the amazing people I’ve connected to and how I’ve been able to learn about history," Merry says. "I’m learning about history in a very intimate way."
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Photo: Courtesy of Trina Merry.
"I’ve really had to learn patience through this series, and how to focus in the midst of intense chaos," Merry says. "I did this whole painting in an hour and a half all five models with the help of two assistants. We had some really crazy shadows coming across the ground, and we painted in front of 400 people that were all crowded around, watching us. That was really amazing and intense."
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Photo: Courtesy of Trina Merry.
"I really love body painting because my artwork has a breath and a heartbeat, and it really sets it apart from every other sort of art form," Merry says. "I knew that if I went this direction, I could push myself to become a great artist, so that’s why I did it. I really am trying to continue to push and pioneer what I can in the medium."
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