WEIRD NEWS
07/08/2016 10:50 am ET

This Is What It's Like To Strip And Get Body Painted For The First Time (NSFW)

"It amazing how quickly it began to feel like new skin."

As a 24-year-old entrepreneur and part-time model in Brooklyn, Sarah Zickel has done some daring and amazing things.

But with Bodypainting Day in NYC approaching, she took the plunge into something she never tried before, allowing artist Andy Golub, the event organizer, to transform her body into a living canvas.

“It’s so fabulous to turn your body ― especially parts of your body you don’t necessarily love ― into art,” Zickel told HuffPost.

Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

Of course, body painting is a bit of a misnomer. The paint is actually theatrical makeup. It’s nevertheless a fascinating form of expression, and the process is amazing to watch. We’ve broken it down a bit in the images below, captured by HuffPost staff photographer Damon Dahlen.

“BODY

Zickel: “I feel fine being nude. I’ve done other nude shoots. But as I got painted, I felt sort of clothed. I really didn’t feel as nude as I did at the beginning of the shoot.”

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    Zickel: “The paint was a little cold going on. But then it became a rather soothing experience.”
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    On Bodypainting Day, roughly 70 artists and 100 models will gather at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, near the United Nations. The models will be fully naked as artists apply paint. Once finished, they'll board buses and tour Manhattan.
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    Zickel: “I feel that Andy drew some of my core self out of me. The crazy, the grotesque, yet funny parts.”
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    Golub: “I see the patterns on this woman’s body as not happy, not sad. They're seeking, looking for truth.”
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    Golub: "Every year Bodypainting Day changes, and the theme is what drives that. The theme this year is inner beauty. To find that, the artist has to look within himself and draw inspiration from the spirit of the model he's working with."
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    Golub: "I feed off the energy of the model. And there was a lot of that going on today. What we have here is a deep and a complex painting."
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    Golub: "It's up to the artist to look to the body and the spirit within the body for inspiration."
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    Golub is no stranger to the streets of New York City. He frequently paints all-nude figures in Times Square. 
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    Golub has long been an advocate for free expression, and has worked to forge a good working relationship with police. 
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    We followed Andy one day when he set out to work, and the results were just glorious. 
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    Zickel: "It's amazing how quickly it began to feel like new skin."
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    Zickel: "Andy and I never met before today. He said to me that when you body paint under these circumstances, you can feel very vulnerable. But that can be very good for the art."
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    Golub: "Even when you paint the same model over and over, it's different each time because I’ll be in a different place and the model will be in a different place.“
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    Zickel: “There was a mirror … and Damon showed me what was going on. And I looked so much different. Before that, I could look down, of course. But obviously, I didn't know what’s going on on my back.”
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