"Skin Wars" contestant Avi Ram working on one of his more unusual canvases – the belly of a pregnant model. "Skin Wars" contestant Avi Ram working on one of his more unusual canvases – the belly of a pregnant model. "Skin Wars" contestant Avi Ram working on one of his more unusual canvases – the belly of a pregnant model. (Photo: Lisa Rose / GSN)

'Skin Wars' finalist calls show the best experience of his life

An exit interview with runner-up Avi Ram on the competition and what he plans on doing next.

The second season of GSN’s “Skin Wars” boasted so many talented body painting artists that an exciting finale was assured, and it did not disappoint. The international battle came down to Avi Ram, the Israeli airbrusher who won more individual challenges than anyone else, vs. the Russian-born Lana Chromium, who wowed the judges with her fanciful creations.

Tasked with creating a single piece from five bodies posed together, Ram created a chameleon and Chromium painted a crab, and both were astounding. But in the end, Chromium took home the championship and the $100,000 prize.

This crab design by Lana Chromium sealed her victory on the Game Show Network's body painting competition.This crab design by Lana Chromium sealed her victory on the Game Show Network's body painting competition. (Photo: Lisa Rose/GSN)

He may have finished just shy of the win, but Ram is happy with his “Skin Wars” performance. “I am not disappointed. I was able to show my skills to the world. By the way, second place is not too shabby,” he told From The Grapevine. “’Skin Wars,’ for me, was the best experience of my life. I love creating art and being able to do it every day was great. The best thing about it was to meet all the artists. We turned into a small family. The most difficult thing was to see someone going home every week.”

In a season of many highlights, Ram says his favorite piece was the one he created for the seafood camouflage challenge, which he won. But his favorite moment was not about art, but rather “when they reached my mom in Israel to give me a message.”

“Some people in Israel have watched the show on the Internet. I’m getting a lot of support,” says Ram, who has become somewhat of a celebrity there. “I have been stopped many times already from fans of the show.” Before it aired, he was only known around South Florida, where he currently resides. "Lots of people all over the country and the world have seen my work. I have gotten a lot more work from the exposure.”

Since taping “Skin Wars,” he completed more than 30 murals for two multi-building schools in Florida. “I love children and was so happy to get that work. I have also volunteered working with children who are hospitalized – painting shirts and hats for the kids,” says Ram, who owns a custom airbrush store in Fort Lauderdale.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X56vlkMwmc

His plans for the future include competing in body painting competitions, including the World Championship next July in Austria. “I also plan on opening a studio soon where I can have a better place to work.”

For Ram, there were many valuable takeaways from competing in “Skin Wars.” “I learned I can work under pressure. I was able to meet people involved in the industry and a lot of other great artists,” he says. “It was, for me, a very exciting experience.”

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