How sharp are your eyes? Could you look at a landscape and spot a person hiding? Most of us would probably say “yes” without a second thought, but in the work of Jörg Düsterwald, things aren’t always what they seem.
Düsterwald, a native of Hameln, Germany, has been combining body-painting with photography for over 20 years. Although “body-painting” may seem exotic, you’ve probably come across it once or twice without even knowing it. Many of our favorite aliens or creatures from movies are body-painted, most notably Mystique from X-Men. Many performers, in dance and theater, also use body-painting to make individuals emerge seamlessly from tress and other amorphic backdrops. What Düsterwald does, however, elevates the medium to a fine art.
In this series of photos, Düsterwald is working with a model known simply as Nadine, as well as photographer Tschiponnique Skupin, in a forest in Lower Saxony, Germany. Although Düsterwald does not take the photos himself, he is responsible for the composition of the entire shot. As you’ll see, just one leaf or finger out of place can throw off everything.
If you’d like to see more of Düsterwald’s work, head over to his website or Facebook page. But for now, grab your glasses and sit back. It’s time to hunt for the elusive woman hidden in 7 photos. If the first one has you stumped, don’t worry – they get easier, but no less mesmerizing.
Among the fall foliage is a woman hiding … do you see her?
She’s hidden there at the base of the tree, disguised by some very clever body paint. Just look at the details in her chest, leg and even hair! The colors and textures Düsterwald chose are on point.
Can you see the model Nadine here? Once your eye finds her, it’s one of those you can’t un-see … but until then, she’s blending in beautifully.
Düsterwald brings his body paint to the photography site. After he finds the perfect location, many adjustments need to be made to get the shot just right.
Although the model is easy to spot in these last few photos, that doesn’t make them any less beautiful or interesting. There’s no telling what this art means to other people, but to me, it’s impossible to view it without considering man’s (or in this case, woman’s!) relationship with nature.
Today, the majority of society is disconnected from the earth. We waste precious resources, pollute water and air, cut down forests and disrupt entire ecological systems. Maybe, just maybe, Düsterwald is asking us to remember that our bodies rely on the earth – if we don’t treat it right, we’ll disappear right along with it.
Or, maybe he just loves playing with body paint and camouflage. After all, he doesn’t just paint individuals into nature, but into places like music shops, car garages and fishing ports. Either way, his work is a treat for the eyes and mind!