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The Human Canvas: Nigerian Artist, Oni Mary Ayomide, Paints Portraits on Her Body

  • Oni Mary Ayomide uses make-up products like foundation and eyeliner to paint famous personalities on her body.
  • The 23-year-old artist lives in the Nigerian city of Lagos and shares her work on TikTok. (Source: Reuters)

Artists around the world use various mediums to express their work and for Nigeria’s Oni Mary Ayomide her body is the canvas. Turning her body into a canvas to showcase her talent is not completely new for Ayomide, a professional makeup artist. Instead of pens and paint, her tools of choice are eyeliners, foundation, and other make-up products.

Ayomide, who also goes by the name Anne Pella, uses celebrities and other notable figures as her subjects. Based in the Nigerian city of Lagos, Ayomide shares her work on TikTok, where she has gathered close to 7,000 followers.

“I don’t get all my paintings at once because sometimes, whenever I start to paint, I get to the nose or the eyes and I feel like this person doesn’t look like what I am about to paint so I clean it and start all over again.

“Sometimes I can try two-three times before I can get the particular painting I want to paint,” Ayomide said while speaking with Reuters.

“One of the challenges I face whenever I am doing this painting is my body, my body will start to ache me. I will feel pain all over my body, my shoulder, my waist, my neck,” she added.

Ayomide is not the first artist to paint on her body. In recent years, Liu Bolin, Mimi Choi and Alexa Meade have made the genre of body painting highly popular.

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