New York City is full of colorful and unique characters, and Andy Golub is no exception. Though, there seems to be an uptick in the odd job economy, Golub's job landed him on David Letterman's 'Top Ten' list and in jail in the same year--a feat not many can accomplish. Golub went from being your typical artist, painting murals and canvases, when he decided that painting a real person--in the nude--provided a much richer experience to display his artistic flair. The process is about the artist clearing his mind, says Golub, and relying on random inspiration to complete the painting that goes from being taboo to art.
[00:06] I think it really stretches the bounds of what people think is acceptable. And I think that when people see it, I think that people understand, at least in my case, that the art is true expression and that it’s something that I mean.
[00:19] It's about freedom. It's about power. It's not about exploitation; it's not about money. It's not about marketing.
[00:36] The moment that I start painting the person with the brush, I feel like all of a sudden, I start reading them in a whole different way, that I can’t read them for just, like, talking to them.
[00:47] I heard someone on the radio say that all artists’ work is of self-portraits, in one way or the other even abstract art, and I think that's true for me.
[00:56] I started painting on different objects--I painted on cars, and murals and hats and shoes and tables and then I painted a mannequin and after the mannequin I decided it was time to paint a real live person.
[01:07] And I realized that there was a whole other dynamic when you're dealing with a person that doesn't exist with any of these objects, because obviously the person's alive.
[01:53] But when I started body painting, what I realized was that the body painting was a combination between a self-portrait and an interpretive painting. So it's like, in my mind, a collaborative thing.
[02:03] So, I'm collaborating on a painting, using the energy of the model. That's just a really, really, interesting dynamic, and I think it suites me.
[00:02:11] In my family, like I sort of grew up and there was like a lot of people like people going into business and I think that's what was expected of me. And it was sort of like people are sort of like money people. And I just think of like art as like a bug, and whenever something else competes with it, then it wins.
[00:02:28] I think that there are definitely feelings when I complete a painting, that I, like, broke new ground and there is just this really triumphant feeling and this really just wonderful feeling.
[02:39] And I think that sometimes if I do a really great painting on a model, and after we paint, we, like, walk around an art fair or we walk around somewhere, and it's just a really, really great feeling.
[02:50] But I don't think of the painting so much as something that I love, I think its more of what I do or what I need to do or what I feel inclined to do.
[02:59] In NYC full nudity in public is legal if it's a part of an art project. I was doing full nude body painting the police started arresting me and the models. And finally with the help of the NYCLU, I was given permission to do this if I told them where I was going to be.
[03:19] Since then, this past summer, I was painting a lot of men. Two fully nude men in front of the Apple Store one time. Two fully nude men in Times Sq. I painted 22 men and women of all different shapes and sizes in Times Sq.
[03:34] But, I think, definitely you know, I think it's important to keep going out in public and kind of keep the message of, you know, of freedom I guess, with, you know, public art and let people see the body in a different way. And I do think it's impactful.
[03:50] My work is developing on many different fronts. I'm very happy with it, and I think that, you know, some things--when you do them in life--you sort of deep down you know it's a cool thing, you know it's a good things and you don't really have to doubt yourself, even though obviously it's, you know, something people aren't really used to seeing too often.
[04:06] So, I think, to me, art is really about just connecting with people, and more than anything else, accepting them for who they are.
[04:14] While I do paint pretty girls, I also paint very large girls and I paint older women. And I painted this one women who had breast cancer and every time I would paint her, you could see how her breast was actually changing because the cancer was affecting her.
[4:30} So I think it's all about just accepting everyone for who they are and what they and sort of not really judging them, but really just sort of experiencing them.
Shapeshifters is a tribe of creative artists from all over the world. In their world females are masculine hunters and men are feminine mermaids. Half lizard half zebra, half horse half fish and unicorns all come to life. For many years they have been working in diverse body painting techniques and they have developed their own artistic style. There are no labels that can be used to describe this particular artistic crew as they are constantly playing with new materials, shapes and colours. By the time you figure out what they are, they will have probably already shapeshifted into something else.