Bodypainting model performs with fire

Photo: Mathias Kniepeiss/Getty Images

The colorful, whimsical characters of the World Bodypainting Festival are absolutely marvelous — and a little bit creepy. These strange, costumed creatures roam the streets of Carinthia, Austria for a week dedicated to this amazing craft.

Created in 1998 by local travel agent Alex Barendregt, the festival has become an internationally acclaimed "center of bodypainting," with artists and models representing countries all over the world. Body painting workshops, competitions and spectacular performances fill the calendar, and the final days of the festival are not only free, but also open to the public. Each artist can compete under different categories, from face painting to UV bodypainting.

* * * 
 
Bodypainting model in costume

Photo: Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images

The 2014 World Bodypainting Festival took place in Pörtschach, Austria. It previously has taken place in Seeboden, another town in the state ofo Carinthia. In 2008, the festival was held in South Korea.

* * * 
 
Bodypainting model wearing a colorful hat

Photo: Mathias Kniepeiss/Getty Images

* * * 
 
Creepy looking bodypainting model

Photo: Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images

* * * 
 
Male bodypainting model

Photo: Alexander Klein/AFP/Getty Images

* * * 
 
Bodypainting model posing in front of a tree

Photo: Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images

* * * 
 
Bodypainting model striking a bizarre pose

Photo: Mathias Kniepeiss/Getty Images

* * * 
 
Bodypainting model has face painted on hands

Photo: Mathias Kniepeiss/Getty Images

* * * 
 
Anna Norris is an associate editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Related content on MNN: