Eva Rinaldi is a an artist and business woman working in Lillyfield, New South Wales, Australia. She is famous in the art world as well as the business community, for her innovative ‘Bodyart’. Eva has a wish. It is to invite Oprah to become a work of art, as one of her Human Statue models. Her goal is to raise funds for the impoverished peoples of the world, and/or any charity that Oprah wishs to give the proceeds to.
When asked why she wants to paint Oprah, Eva Rinaldi responded, ‘I’ve always been a huge fan. I want to do something special for her. She is always pleasing other people, doing special things for others. I want her to sit back and please her. I know she will enjoy it. It will also show other women how to feel comfortable in their skin, no matter what shape and size they are.’ Eva has spent much of her time in the cause to end world poverty and many other charities. When asked if this event is to be associated with a cause or charity, Eva replied, ‘Yes certainly for a worthy cause, that is the whole idea of the event, to create a special piece of artwork to sell for charity, for a worthy cause of her choice. I think, because she is so conservative, adding the human statues in the theme may improve my chances, as she wont be completely nude.’
Eva related her plan to work with Oprah by saying, ‘I plan to paint her and a number of her guests including, John Trovolta, as a human statue at the front of our Sydney Opera House, something similar to the statue of Liberty. Or, the location could even be at ‘Uluru’ (Ayers Rock) featuring indigenous or country outback themes, or Sydney icons such as the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. But, it will have to be colorful. It would be amazing to also get her audience involved, have them be part of the event and at the same time raise some money for a worthy cause.’
‘I know Oprah is conservative. She would not, necessarily be completely nude. That’s why I have introduced the Human Statue. Body-paint can be featured in so many ways. She can wear partial clothing similar to a ‘toga’, I have created in the past, along with my human statues. So many themes can be incorporated into human statues. The possibilities are endless. However, her hands, feet, and face would be covered from head to toe in body-paint. It would be so exciting. Imagine, having Oprah featured in a live body-art demonstration. I think the whole world would be watching. She would be so much fun to work with. It makes me smile from ear to ear as I’m telling you this, as I can picture the transformation taking place. Sometimes I like to dream and sometimes I believe anything is possible. You just have to give it a try. My Mum once told me, you have to be in it to win it.’
When asked how she characterizes the genre her artwork most closely fits, Eva replied, ‘ Art, whatever the form. I work in a variety of mediums, however, I’m most known for my human statues, in body painting, and developing human statues, art/nude bodies, for corporate events.’ Eva would title her work, given the chance to paint Oprah, ‘Dear Oprah Winfrey’. When asked what was the inspiration for this wish, Eve related, ‘The birth of my son, who inspired me to focus on face painting. The business suited my desire to mix my passion and creativity with a business, after I became a single mother. A lot of my work features children, represents themes of poverty, and the basic standards of living. Many people, from a multitude of different walks of life, are consistently telling me that dreams can in fact come true, that the impossible can indeed can become very possible. One of the most paramount attributes of Oprah Winfrey, is her ability to, so brilliantly, utilize the ‘currency of celebrity’, a phrase that I believe Bono coined. This means, she is able to use her celebrity for a greater good, be it raising awareness and funds for causes such as homelessness, poverty, hunger, medical assistance, abuse, rehabilitation, education, and more. Many of these causes are dear to my heart. When asked to describe the process used to create her artwork, Eva explained, ‘I paint human bodies , Body Painting Sydney icons, such as, the Harbor Bridge, and the Opera House. I also like painting children as human statues. The body paint is amazing because of it’s impermanence. It takes hours to create a human canvas. Then within minutes, it can be all washed away, unlike a painting on canvas, which can live for a long time. It’s not like a canvas or a piece of paper. There’s no opportunity to leave it for an hour or a day or a week. The whole activity must take place in one session, usually over a period of a few hours, so that the model does not pass out with exhaustion! The result is then photographed and disappears forever. I have a series of artworks, of my humanitarian efforts, which have also risen to prominence, with successful charity fund-raiser collaborations.
When asked why she feels her art is special or unique, Eva said, ‘I was raised with the notion that struggle of life was noble, and often wondered if ‘penniless’ poses a strangely familiar comfort zone. It would explain the suicide tango and the long projects that allow my bank balance to spiral towards zero. We lived on next to nothing. Six brothers and sisters, but seemed to enjoy everything and anything, that is, anything but new things. Survivalist creativity, and more often just survival, is simply what I know and do best. Worrying about money is not creative, but the pursuit of creativity is one of the most expensive things around. I have always been a huge fan of Oprah and her work. We have a lot in common, more than she will ever know. I don’t like to travel, as I have a fear of airplanes. When I heard Oprah was coming to Australia, I thought this would be the best chance to do something to get her attention. I had no idea the story would go around the Globe.’
In response to the question, ‘What Inspires your art journey?’ Rinaldi responded, ‘I could list so many things. It could be something someone said or something I’ve seen. I love to people watch if I’m waiting in the car while my son goes into the grocery store. You wouldn’t believe the simple things you’ll notice about people. A wonderful older person who can barely walk, or park, for that matter, but still wants to do their own shopping, and not give up that independence just yet.’
‘I create in my mind what their life may have been like, and what it’s like right now. I’ve also seen wonderful acts of kindness. It’s amazing what you can see if you truly open your eyes every day of life. I love nature, animals, cooking, writing, reading, my son, my wonderful sisters and brothers and all of these things inspire me but there are hundreds more; it’s not one thing I can really pinpoint. I love riding my bicycle seeing things along the way but it’s most anything that I will find inspiring in some way. I think it’s more about how the person sees things in general. Many times it’s like a wheel that starts turning the moment you spot something inspiring. I guess everyone who feels they are creative, will have a different opinion. That’s why they are creative!’
To the inquiry, ‘When did you first know you were an artist?’ Eva replied with this poem,
I think everything in life is artist.
What you do, how you dress,
The way you love somebody and how you talk,
Your smile and personality,
What you believe in, your personality and all your dreams
The way you drink your tea
How you decorate your home or party,
Your grocery list, the food you make
How your writing looks
And the way you feel.
Life is art..
Eva said that the message or expression her art represents, ‘Always goes back to my childhood. My brothers are the real artists in the family. When I was a little girl, my brothers and I believed my parents could make anything, after my dad built a doll house for his ferrets and mum painted the entire interior by hand. My mum knitted my sisters and I sweaters for Christmas. We believed in Henri Matisse instead of Santa Claus. We were told Vincent Van Gogh’s astounding misfortunes as a regular bedtime story. I learned much from this simple statement, Vincent never saw a nickel… but he believed’.’
If you are interested in more information about, Bodyartist, Eva Rinaldi, her wish, and her humanitarian efforts, you can visit her website, www.humanstatuebodyart.com.au or write to: Human Statue Body Art 12 Frazer Street, Lillyfield, New South Wales, Australia 2046 Oprah is flying three hundred members of her audience to Sydney, Australia, for a week stay, in December 2010. Eva Rinaldi is working hard to make her wish come true, to please Oprah with her art and bring much needed funding to the impoverished peoples of the world. So Oprah, what do you think?