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24 Whimsically Weird World Bodypainting Festival Photos

by Laura Mason | @masonlazarus Mon July 31, 2017 | 11:35 AM

We always wait on the edges of our seats every time the World Bodypainting Festival rolls around. Every year, some of the world's most talented artists (not to mention very, very committed models) gather in the south of Austria for a fierce competition to see who can craft the most whimsical, wild, and amazingly weird designs on the human body.

This year the event celebrated it 20th anniversary and, appropriately, it went big. The festival, which is the biggest of its kind in the world, debuted its new home this year in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, the regional capital boasting a historical city center, theatre and galleries. Artists from over 54 nations and over 1500 participants competed in thirteen different categories in order to impress the tens of thousands of festival visitors and the jury with their unique and outstandingly creative designs.

The best part? These creations rooted in the human form are as otherworldly and alien as can be. Inspired by fairy tales, science fiction, nature, monsters, and the annals of history, what emerges from the hours of manual labor and precision handiwork is unlike anything you'll see in any movie or TV show. They feel closer to hallucinations or fever dreams than anything else. Enjoy the photos below!

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Karsten Skrabal    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Karsten Skrabal    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Dirk Hartung    1 Of 5

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Karsten Skrabal    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Daniel Janesch    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Karsten Skrabal    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Karsten Skrabal    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Daniel Janesch    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Daniel Janesch    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Daniel Janesch    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Daniel Janesch    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Dirk Hartung    1 Of 5

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Daniel Janesch    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Karsten Skrabal    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Karsten Skrabal    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Dirk Hartung    1 Of 5

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Karsten Skrabal    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Karsten Skrabal    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Dirk Hartung    1 Of 5

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Dirk Hartung    1 Of 5

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Daniel Janesch    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Daniel Janesch    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Daniel Janesch    1 Of 10

World Bodypainting Festival 2017 Karsten Skrabal    1 Of 10

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