North Texas Daily

A living canvas

A living canvas

A living canvas
October 10
14:32 2013

Joshua Knopp / Staff Writer

A pre-studio art major, who specializes in new media, made herself into a medium for students passing between the General Academic Building and Physics Buildings yesterday afternoon.

Caitlin Christian put herself in a white leotard and stood on a large canvas taped to the ground. She set up a table with assorted paints and brushes and instructions for passersby to paint on her and tell her how to transfer the paint onto the canvas. She stood for three hours, starting at noon.

“I’ve been wanting to do it for a while,” she said. “I could feel what was being painted, but I couldn’t tell what it looked like at all.”

Students painted all manner of decorations on her. Her scalp was covered in a golden patch and her face was a mash of secondary colors. Blue wings adorned her back, and “f— off” was written on her stomach in yellow.

Communication studies master’s student Bryan Lysinger, who painted the obscenity along with red marks on her throat and left wrist, said he wanted to paint something offensive to see if it would change the reaction of passersby.

Pre-Art History freshman Jewel Lee draws on Pre-Studio Art senior Caitlin Christian's face with a permanent marker. Photo by Aidan Barrett / Senior Staff Photographer

“Performances are socially constructed, so I wanted to paint something offensive to change the view of others as they walked by,” he said. “It’ll never happen again like this. That’s why it’s ephemeral.”

Lysinger’s classmate, Flora Ceka, specializes in performance art. She said the painting was important because, to her, it was a performance.

“It’s an experience more than a project,” Ceka said. “It’s live. It’s ephemeral. It’s in front of people. The opportunity to let people play with her makes it performance.”

Ceka produced one of the more unusual experiences when she gave Christian the paintbrush and asked Christian to paint on her. Moments later, Christian and Ceka had matching gold patches running down their throats and across their collars.

“Everyone gets to paint on her, but she never gets to paint on anyone, so I wanted to share the experience with her,” Ceka said.

Christian said she will add both the suit and the canvas to her portfolio, though she doesn’t know what she wants to use her portfolio for yet. She said exposing people to new media will remain a hobby for her no matter what.

“I just wanted people to think outside the box and do something they don’t normally get to,” she said.

Christian said because of the positive response, she will probably do something like this again in the future.

Pre-Art History freshman Jewel Lee draws on Pre-Studio Art senior Caitlin Christian. Christian brought with her only paint brushes, a canvas and a sign that encouraged students to use her as their brush. Feature photo by Aidan Barrett / Senior Staff Photographer

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