Thursday, November 22, 2007

WE ART - Get Body Designed

By Natasha G. Samuels

Brothers Ian and Robert Williams, known as Eon and Robby, are talented young artists
who are redefining Jamaica’s entertainment scene by bringing the art of body painting into the dancehall.

As promoters continue to seek creative ways to enhance and attract patrons to their events, it is not un-common to find the brothers at Jamaica’s party venues dressing the face, hands, thighs and torso of their live canvases, most of whom are females, with elaborate acrylic paint designs.
Over the last six-years, the brothers have carved their niche into the entertainment scene on the island by working at events hosted by the Hedonism and Beaches resorts, Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest beach party, Appleton, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, WATA, Digicel, Cable and Wireless, and Renaissance parties, just to name a few.

The brother’s art is not, however, limited to their live canvasses. Their mural “Hells Kitchen,” was featured in Baby Cham’s and Alicia Keys 2006 “True Ghetto Story” video
The two also recently collaborated with Jamaica’s Scorpio 21 video production company for videos featuring singer/songwriter Tina Nunezz and singer/songwriter/actor and comedian Iceman.

“Eon and Robby were very great to work with. They are extremely talented and I hope to work with them on other future projects,” Nunezz said.

Iceman, whose “Make Sweet Love to Me” video features two Eon and Robby BodyDesigned models is climbing the charts in Jamaica. “They made my joint look real poppin and the response has been tremendous to say the least,” he said.

The brothers say they were inspired by their mother who suggested that they paint young children’s faces during the Christmas holidays, six years ago, as a means of making extra money. The interest was overwhelming they said.

The brothers, Robby who was a Culinary Arts and Design major at Jamaica’s University of Technology, and Ian who after completing a two-year course at the Edna Manley School of Visual Arts before transferring to SUNY Brockport in New York where he completed a major in Theater Arts and Design, saw body painting as a viable means for generating income in job strapped Jamaica.

Body painting is one of the oldest art forms in the world. Unlike tattooing which involves the insertion of pigment into the skin, body painting is temporary, painted on the human skin, and lasts for several hours.

Body painting is very much part of the culture of the Carnival celebrations of the Caribbean and is used to enhance the display of the elaborate costumes worn by participants.
Body painting is also part of the tradition of J’ouvert where bodies are smeared with paint, mud or oil.

In order to separate themselves from the splashing of paint typically seen during J’ouvert, the brothers coined and trademarked the term BodyDesign™ which they still use today.
Depending on how elaborate the designs are, it takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes or even longer for a full design which is applied using a combination of skin paint, combined with different types of skin based materials.

In addition to their BodyDesigns, Eon and Robby also have a clothing line called FreeSpiritz, which they say is taking off on the local market.

The brothers are also planning on establishing themselves in the market as promoters whereby they would host theme based parties for “free spirited” outgoing people. .

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