Humanae project

Humanae is an ongoing work by Angelica Dass, who says that the aim of the piece is to involve people and deepen the understanding of issues surrounding social, cultural and racial identity, and the masks that people don.

"Humanae  is a chromatic inventory, a project that reflects on the colors beyond the borders of our codes by referencing the PANTONE® color scheme.

(PANTONE® Guides are one of the main classification systems of colors, which are represented by an alphanumeric code, allowing to accurately recreate any of them in any media. It is a technical industrial standard often called Real Color)

The project development is based on a series of portraits whose background is dyed with the exact Pantone® tone extracted from a sample of 11x11 pixels of the portrayed’s face. The project’s objective is to record and catalog all possible human skin tones."

hollow bodies, thin skins: representing skins

Nicole Tran Ba Vang
Photographer and artist whose most striking work features skins assimilating with surfaces, and bodies shedding and dressing in new skins.


Creative Production Studio with excellent post-production effects. These campaigns feature bodies emotively seized from within their own skins, and fashionistas escaping their former shells.

Dyax Corp ‘Kalbitor’

Westfield 'Fashion Lives'

Bert Simons
Simons creates paper sculptures as 3D portraits. He shows his method in creating these pieces and also offers up a free pattern and instructions to make his own head.

Krisar is a Swedish artist with works addressing the body. The ones I've included images of here reconstitute the body - a cast of a young boy's body is imprinted and moulded by adult hands, a cast metal face is heated to melt a cast wax face, and a torso is woven from strips of skinlike material

some human skins in fine art

Andrew Krasnow 

Hollow Muscle

"The work presents skin history, or, to be more precise, histories in skin. In part it examines American exceptionalism and its religious origins, in part it is a critique of hate; its tribal, racial, and ethnic antecedents, and more broadly it delves into unfamiliar areas, areas where each individual viewer is left to assess the human condition, its priorities, and its collective psyche. Neither is the installation propagandistic. Rather it is heavily layered. The complex relationships between identity, dehumanization, the effects of human dominion over the planet, ancient grudges and the world of superstition, and of course war and suffering are some, but not all, of what is considered."  Source: krasnow

Also refer to:
GV art

Geoff Ostling

Ostling has agreed to donate his skin to the National Gallery in Canberra. Beautifully tattooed in flora drawn by artist eX de Medici, many of his flowers are Australian natives. He says:

"After I die, I have promised to donate my tattooed skin to the National Gallery of Australia. The story of how this will be done is told in a half-hour documentary film simply called SKIN. It includes a visit to the see the preserved tattoo skins at the Medical Museum at the University of Tokyo and brief interviews with my tattoo artist and all the peopled involved in the removal and preservation of my tattooed bodysuit."  Source: heavily tattooed bear

Also refer to:
This excellent 2010 interview with Richard Fidler on abc radio
The Sydney Morning Herald
the daily telegraph

Shelley Jackson - SKIN

The SKIN project is a combination of literature and body art. Volunteers across the world have a single word of Jackson's story tattooed onto their body. The work is published through their skin and only after they have returned a confirming photo of the tattooed word are they sent a copy of the story in full.

Jackson says of the work once it is published through tattooing:
"From this time on, participants will be known as "words". They are not understood as carriers or agents of the words they bear, but as their embodiments. As a result, injuries to  the printed text, such as dermabrasion, laser surgery, tattoo cover work or the loss of body parts, will not be considered to alter the work. Only the death of words effaces them from the text. As words die the story will change; when the last word dies the story will also have died. The author will make every effort to attend the funerals of her words." Source: Skin Guidelines


Blurring skins + bodies

A couple of interesting works I've come across of late...

Imme van der Haak is a graduate of both the Royal College of Art (London) and Artez (Arnhem, the Netherlands). Beyond the Body, in her own words, is about: 

'A perception of appearance and identity
My work focuses on altering the human form by affecting its figure with just one simple intervention. Photos of the human body are printed onto translucent silk which will create the possibility of physically layering different bodies, ages, generations and identities.
In a dance performance, the moving body manipulates the fabric so the body and the silk become one, distorting our perception or revealing a completely new physical form. The movement then brings this to life.
Beyond the Body brings into being an ambiguous image that intrigues, astonishes or sometimes even disturbs.'

Studio NminusOne have designed a mannequin that emits the scent of people sitting in an adjacent, attached chair. Why? The Hu-Mannequin allows for a new relationship between people and clothing, by engaging the olfactory sense and luring shoppers toward their familiar odour being channelled through nearby clothes.