What you are about to see are not paintings on canvas! Alexa Meade paints with acrylics directly on human flesh creating the optical illusion of painterly portraits. She uses a classic art and photography technique known as forced perspective (or trompe l’oeil) to make her subjects pop out of their surroundings.

Her 3D paintings can take some time to create, with her model being added closer to the start of an exhibit. “I can spend 2-5 days painting the walls, floors, and props used in a full bodypainting portrait,” Alexa explained on her website. “Painting clothes can take 1-4 hours depending on the extensiveness of the drapery and any patterned print. I need to paint the clothes on a stand-in model’s body in order to effectively capture the shadows of the drapery.”

Her unique mix of installation art and portraiture creates these stunning living paintings. With sweeping brushstrokes and vivid colors, her playful works reference post-impressionist artists — such as Vincent Van Gogh or Paul Cezanne — whilst also being fresh and contemporary. In fact, Alexa has gone on to work with Ariana Grande on her iconic “God Is A Woman” music video.

Here’s a small collection of some of Alexa’s amazing artworks. When you’re ready for more, check out part two here as well!

More info: Website | Instagram

Alexa Meade Art Showing How Trompe L’Oeil Works

“Alexa Meade is an installation artist based in the Washington, DC area. Her background in the world of political communications has fueled her intellectual interest in the tensions between perception and reality.

Alexa Meade’s innovative use of paint on the three-dimensional surfaces of found objects, live models, and architectural spaces has been incorporated into a series of installations that create a perceptual shift in how we experience and interpret spatial relationships.” 

Bodypainting Portrait of Alexa Meade


Looks Like A Still Life Painting But It’s Real

Still Life Painting in Real Life

Natura Morta, Living Painting

Work In Progress of 3D Painting

Living Painting Spotted On The Subway

Installation Art Exhibit With Model

Ann, Portraiture

All Images ©alexameade.com