Body art is art made on, with, or consisting of, the human body. The most common forms of body art are tattoos and body piercings, but other types include scarification, branding, scalpelling, shaping (for example tight-lacing of corsets), full body tattoo and body painting.
More extreme body art can involve things such as mutilation or pushing the body to its physical limits. For example, one of Marina Abramovic's works involved dancing until she collapsed from exhaustion, while one of Dennis Oppenheim's better-known works saw him lying in the sunlight with a book on his chest, until his skin, excluding that covered by the book, was badly sunburned. It can even consist of the arrangement and dissection of preserved bodies in an artistic fashion, as in the case of the plastinated bodies used in the travelling Body Worlds exhibit.
In Western art, body art appears to be a sub-category of performance art, in which artists use or abuse their own body to make their particular statements.
In more recent times, body became a subject of much broader discussions and treatments that cannot be reduced to the body art in its common understanding. Important strategies that question the human body are: breast implants, body in symbiosis with the new technologies, virtual body etc.
- Directory of body art websites
- Australian Museum's Body Art section
- Tao of Tattoos - Tattoos & Body Art Website
- American Museum of Natural History's Body Art section
- Body art painting by Youri Messen-Jaschin
- BME Zine - Body Modification Website
See also Category:Body modification
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