Roustan Body Paint
An alum of both the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Rhode Island School of Design, Roustan’s career spans both the fine art and commercial worlds. His work has appeared on media including, Spike TV, The Game Show Network, Sabado Gigante, the Chicago Sun-Times, The New York Post, GQ, Playboy, Maxim, and galleries along the East and West coasts. His work has been acquired in over 200 private collections.
Roustan and Shadia Elise – photo by Wrong Ron
Yet here I am, a soldier for women, able to separate sex and art as I obsess over natural human bodies and the souls that inhabit them. My unapologetic indulgence of nudity and disregard for taboo frees me from its suppression of natural desire. It is easy for me to understand that a nude woman with no sexual intent, is just a naked person and not an invitation.
My artwork receives mixed reactions, often loved and defended but also prematurely judged and misunderstood by men and women alike. Projected motives of objectification or titillation become ammunition used by either party evidencing what is right and wrong. A whirlwind of debate engulfs me like I’m holding the last golden ticket. Nudity and its perceived illicit nature eclipse my pure fascination with this stunning and unique living canvas.
As a boy, I was consumed with people watching and authentic curiosity over the human form. I secretly enjoyed Barbie and Ken dolls because of their realistic representation, and of course, removable clothes.
At 10 years old, my mother would drop me off at a library while she attended night school. I searched endlessly for books that had pictures of the human body. Using “how to draw” books, nude art books, or biology books stacked as reference, I’d sketch copies onto paper and abruptly transformed my naked drawings into faces concealing my scandalous taboo.
Later in life, as an illustrator drawing naked people for stories in an adult magazine, I pitched the idea of body painting a model for one of the magazine’s photo spreads. I presented it as if I had done it before. They said, “Let’s give it a shot!” and so I did.
I was hooked.
More and more, I unashamedly explored this body art obsession. With each brushstroke on skin, I’d lose interest in my former canvas of paper along the way.
After all these years, nothing has changed… I’m still “playing with Ken and Barbie” and navigating the taboos of nudity.
I found illumination in my many years of painting on people. We are all very different. But we all have similar insecurities, beauties, struggles, and joys. We all want to be distinct and happy. And we are not objects. My work celebrates the uniqueness of each person, inviting all into her intimate world in its purest form as she is strengthened, healed, and/or simply enthralled in her newfound glory as the canvas.
Sometimes, I feel like a little boy playing with toys: youthful, optimistic, and fun. Other times I feel a bit wiser, relaying a vital message about strength, independence, and empowerment. My hope is that viewers can step back, shut off any preconceived beliefs, and see the authenticity of my intent with a youthful eye and the wonder of it all.
The reception of his work is always an exciting experience for all attendees with music, hors d'oeuvres, beverages, and always free admission!
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Upcoming - TBA Current - Moxy Hotel Lobby, 530 N LaSalle Dr, Chicago, IL 60654
select exhibitions/shows: • ShockBoxx Gallery, Thick, March 2021 • Innerspace Gallery, Future of Magic, January 2021 • ShockBoxx Gallery, Intergalactic 2, January 2021 • ShockBoxx Gallery, SwordFight, September 2020 • Nakid Future, Innerspace Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. January 2020 • ShockBoxx Gallery, Intergalactic, January 2020 • ShockBoxx Gallery, Love Hurts, February 2020 • Roustan's Halloween Bash!, Resin Collective, Hermosa Beach, CA. October 2019 • You Have No Idea What You're Walking Into, ShockBoxx Gallery, Hermosa Beach, CA. July 2019 • SYMBIOSIS collaboration with Gabe Gault, RESIN, Hermosa Beach, CA. June 2019 • Conjoined 9, Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CA. January 2019 • The Hangar LA Art Show, Los Angeles, CA July 2018 • FUN in the Sun ShockBoxx Gallery, Hermosa Beach, CA June 2018 • Fun, No Fun Pacific Coast Gallery, Hermosa beach, CA April 2018 • Introspect Group Art Show West Hollywood, CA April 2018 • Naked Ambition Group Art Show AC Gallery, Los Angeles, CA April 2018 • The Other Art Fair Los Angeles, CA March 2018 • ShockBoxx Gallery, Naked as a Daisy, March 2018 • Blast from the Past 80's Solo Show, RESIN Gallery, Hermosa Beach, CA. Feb 2018 • Water & Wood Show, Resin Gallery, Hermosa Beach, CA. January 2018 • Heavy Metal 40th Anniversary, Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CA. July 2017 • Shark Show, ShockBoxx Gallery, Hermosa Beach, CA. July 2017 • El Segundo Art Walk, Third Thursday of June, July 2017 • Water & Wood Show, Hermosa Beach Artists Collective, Hermosa Beach, CA. February 2017 • Conjoined 7, Copro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CA. January 2017 • Turkey John Show, Hermosa Beach, CA. November 2016 • El Segundo Art Walk, Third Thursday of June, July, August 2016 • SOHO Design House, Los Angeles, CA. March 2016 • Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, FASHIONISTAS GROUP SHOW, Santa Ana, CA 10/3 - 11/14 • Las Laguna Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA. July-Aug 2015 • Exact Science Gallery, Hollywood, CA. June 2015 • HUD Gallery, Ventura, CA. June 2015 • Photo Independent Art Fair, Hollywood, CA. May 2015 • Festival of Books, Los Angeles, CA. April 2015 • Arch Enemy Arts, Philadelphia, PA. April 2014 • AS220, Providence, RI. April 2014 • South End Open Studios, Boston, MA. September 2013 • Preservation Framer, Adult Night Show IV. North Attleboro, MA. September 2013 • Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Summer Faculty Show, Providence, RI. July 2013 • Center for the Arts, West Kingstown, RI. May 2013 • Pawtucket Arts Collaborative, Foundation Prize Juried Exhibition, Pawtucket, Rhode Island. May 2013 • Gallery ML, Solo Show. Philadelphia, PA. May 2013 • Fountain Art Fair, 69th Regiment Armory, New York City. March 2013 • Mad Dog Art Gallery, Pawtucket, Rhode Island. February & June 2013 • Preservation Framer, Adult Night Show III. North Attleboro, MA. September 2012 • Chroma Coalition, Body Paint Expose. Los Angeles. August 2012 • Gallery ML, Grand Re-Opening New Space. Philadelphia, PA. April 2012 • Fountain Art Fair, 69th Regiment Armory, New York City. March 2012 • Preservation Framer, Adult Night Show II. North Attleboro, MA. September 2011 • Gallery ML, Rendezvous. Philadelphia, PA. September 2011 • ArtSpace Hartford, Nature Nourishes Group Show. Hartford, CT August 2011 • AS220, Transfigurations. Providence, RI. January 2011 • ArtUndressed: Miami, November 2010 • South Shore Art Center, National Juried Art Exhibition Body Language. Cohasset, MA. October 2010 • Preservation Framer, Adult Night Show. North Attleboro, MA. September 2010 • Gallery ML, Spaces. Philadelphia, PA. August 2010 • Four Corners Art Center, 4th Annual Photography Exhibition, Tiverton, RI. July 2009 - 1st Prize • Warwick Museum of Art, Exposures Juried Exhibition, Warwick, RI. July 2009 - 2nd Prize • Pawtucket Arts Collaborative, Juried Theme Exhibit: Layers, Pawtucket, Rhode Island. March 2009 • AS220, Providence, Rhode Island. January 2009