In this before and after split photo, Avi Ram starts work on the body painting in the left frame. On the right, the finished product. In this before and after split photo, Avi Ram starts work on the body painting in the left frame. On the right, the finished product. In this before and after split photo, Avi Ram starts work on the body painting in the left frame. On the right, the finished product. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

From contestant to mentor: Body painter switches TV role

2015 runner-up Avi Ram will advise artists on new season of ‘Skin Wars: Fresh Paint.'

Last summer, Israeli airbrush wizard Avi Ram’s body painting artistry dazzled viewers of the Game Show Networks' “Skin Wars,” earning him a second place finish and much more. Since the show aired, Ram has been in demand for demonstrations and appearances, teaching at beauty schools and winning the best makeup artist title on the reality competition “Global Beauty Masters" on TLC.

One June 22, he’ll appear as a mentor on the spinoff competition “Skin Wars: Fresh Paint,” in which artists from other disciplines try their hand at body painting. He found it fun and a lot less stressful than competing. “To be on the other side as a mentor was amazing. I love to teach,” Ram tells From The Grapevine. He has taught airbrush techniques for the last seven years, but now gets invited to demonstrate body painting all over the U.S., including recent gigs in Dallas and Los Angeles. “So many people want to work with me,” he marvels. “For me, it’s a life-changer.”

Avi Ram teaches bodypainting workshops. Above, one of his masterpieces.Avi Ram teaches bodypainting workshops. Above, one of his masterpieces. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

The Florida-based artist has been busy traveling to conventions for everything from haunted houses to beauty conventions in conjunction with the Cosmix School of Makeup Artistry in Ft. Lauderdale, where he does live demonstrations. He’s rarely at the shop he leases in a Ft. Lauderdale flea market anymore, and plans to phase it out. He also paints murals for elementary schools, and although he plans to go to the World Bodypainting Festival in Vienna in July 2017, he has opted not to do smaller competitions to reduce his stress level and make better use of his time. “There are other ways to inspire people,” Ram says.

Ram's work is like an optical illusion, as it's hard to spot the painted human in this photo.Ram's work is like an optical illusion, as it's hard to spot the painted human in this photo. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

A priority for him now is a gallery to showcase his art, particularly the eye-fooling camouflages in which painted bodies disappear into a scene. He’ll display photographs of the scenes and do live demonstrations at the venue. He’s gathering the works for his first exhibit later this year.

Ram mentioned on “Skin Wars” that he hadn’t seen his family in Israel in five years, but fans raised the money for his trip on a crowd-funding site. But best of all, an Israeli beauty school contacted him about returning to teach body painting. He plans to do that this year and while there, create camouflage art pieces in spots all over the Mediterranean country.

"To bring it there," he says, "would be fantastic.”

Ram's skin paintings are so meticulous, they almost blend right into the background.Ram's skin paintings are so meticulous, they almost blend right into the background. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

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