Look Closely, This is Actually a Temple Made Out of Seventeen People

Human Temple

Artist Trina Merry, 34, from New York, NY created a living temple out of seventeen naked circus performers and dancers to raise awareness for “Beyond the Four Walls”.

Using an airbrush and water based paint, Trina Merry airbrushes circus performers

Using an airbrush and water based paint, Trina Merry airbrushes circus performers

At first glance, this photo appears to be a temple with a rippled reflection in the water. But in fact its seventeen people cleverly painted to resemble a temple.

Trina  merry bodypaints
This innovative work of art was created by Trina Merry, known for her painted human sculptures- the Human Motorcycles, a human car for Fiat, and a human skull performance art piece- as well as her fine art camouflage body painting and installations.

Trina Merry poses the circus performers and dancers to create the shape of the temple

Trina poses the circus performers and dancers to create the shape of the temple

Merry says, “Bodypaint creates a special connection to a person that other visual art forms have trouble accomplishing; it’s a distinctly human experience. My surface is living, breathing human beings making this a highly relevant & immediate medium.”

One of Trina Merry's assistants painting a circus performer

One of Trina Merry's assistants painting a circus performer

The 34 year old spent only thirty minutes of intense focus to puzzle together the human temple out of bodies.

She took nine hours to masterfully create this art piece live at WORKS San Jose Gallery using non-toxic water-based body paint with brushes and airbrushes.

body paint and brushes

Merry says, “The painting is temporary, like a Tibetan sand painting, beginning to change into another work as soon as I stop painting, changing texture & color.”

One of Trina Merry's assistants painting a circus performer

One of Trina Merry's assistants painting a circus performer

Trina Merry carefully arranges the performers for the final shot

Trina Merry carefully arranges the performers for the final shot

While this temple was not inspired by any particular religion, Merry says she was inspired by the ancient uses of body paint to help heal a culture and its contemporary art implications.

“I love the double-take people do as they look at my work. MoMA has documented that most people stop and view a work of art for only seven seconds. When I create a piece live people will sit and watch us for an hour- they connect on a deeply human level to the work. I love that the internet is a free global gallery to share these images. I find fans not only take the time to count all the people but also love to share them online with their friends instantly.”

human temple in process
Merry chose the structure of a temple in order to bring awareness to the social business venture “Beyond the Four Walls” in order to empower women in Nepal.

“This temple moves beyond a simple “WOW” factor to help empower the women of Nepal touched by ‘Beyond the Four Walls’. We are excited to partner with them and bring awareness to these talented and beautiful women.  This is signified by the central gold woman in the image- she represents the healed and loved women in Nepal.” says Merry.

Nepal is the only country in the world where women have a shorter life expectancy then men. Many young girls are either sold into slavery to pay off family debts or married off as young as age nine. Women are responsible for all the hard labor and domestic duties of the house. Only 1% of women in Nepal attend college. Violent acts against women have been well documented in recent news in southeast Asia.

Beyond the Four Walls has created a solution in partnership with corporations like Motorola and American Apparel to create internet cafes that the girls can run, bringing money to their families and simultaneously allowing them a chance to get an education online and use the internet as a tool for jobs or to launch entrepreneurial ventures.

Gold bodypaintMerry hopes to bring awareness and compassion by creating this eye-catching art piece and tangible supplies like laptops and smart phones to these internet cafes when she and her team perform in Nepal in November. She and her Silicon Valley based team will be teaching practical skills on entrepreneurship, online marketing and business skills as well as fun hands on art and dance classes for these women to encourage and empower these promising next generation of talented women.

Behind the Scenes Video

To donate towards the ART ALIVE Gallery going to Nepal & bringing supplies: http://www.gofundme.com/8nowm8

To donate MacBooks, Ipads or Smart Phones, please contact Trina Merry (info below)

About Trina Merry:

trinamerry@gmail.com
408-91-MERRY
www.trinamerry.com
www.facebook.com/MerryBodypaintings
www.twitter.com/trinamerry
Agent: David Yamner, Concept Artists
david@conceptartists.com
212-343-0956
PR: DeeDee Taft, Spin Communications
deedee@spinpr.com
415-380-8390

About “Beyond the Four Walls”

“Beyond the Four Walls” is a social business venture accelerating new media, ICT and STEM startups led by women. Utilizing enterprise development for women in Nepal using basic consumer tech, it openly provides life changing resources for a populations of young women in crisis.

www.beyondthefourwalls.org
http://www.withinthefourwalls.com

Donations towards the journey to Nepal: http://www.gofundme.com/8nowm8

Materials:

Airbrush Paint: European Body Art “Vibe”http://www.europeanbodyart.com
Bodypaint: Kryolan “Aquacolor” and Liquid bodypaint (that exquisite liquid gold!)
Diamond FX
Brushes: Royal Brushes
Airbrush and compressors: Iwata
Stencils: Bad Ass Stencils

Created live at WORKS San Jose for a co-exhibition experiment with artist Theresa Because
Dress: Anthropologie
Photography: Ronald Nelson Photography
Videography by: Roary Rothman
Performers: Art Alive Gallery

Trina Merry

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