These Photographs From Austria’s World Bodypainting Festival Are Absolutely Mind-Boggling

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Images: Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images /
Images: Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images

Looking at these bright and bold images, you could be forgiven for thinking some mysterious new species has been discovered or that aliens have finally touched down on Earth. After all, these colorful creatures certainly look like they’re out of this world.

Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images
Image: Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images

Mind you, we’re talking in the extraordinary, and not the planetary, sense here. Because, despite appearances, there are most definitely humans hiding behind these amazingly intricate costumes. Welcome, then, to the wacky and wonderful world of body painting.

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Image: Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images
Image: Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images

Of course, body painting with clay and other pigments has long been associated with tribal cultures and indigenous populations. Within modern Western society, though, the practice first rose to attention in the art world during the 1960s. Since then, this highly specialized art form has grown in popularity.

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