Art-Themed Bodypainting Show ‘Skin Wars: Fresh Paint’ to Feature RuPaul and Mat Gleason

A still from "Skin Wars." Photo: via

In a new show on the Game Show Network called Skin Wars: Fresh Paint, artists of various mediums will discover if they have what it takes to paint a stranger’s body.

The show is a spinoff of the body painting competition Skin Wars, and Drag Race creator RuPaul will be the host. Six artists—Adelaide Marcus, Bridget McCarty, Ryan “Ryno” Templeton, Nora Hall, Steven Lopez, and Max Gramajo—will vie for a $10,000 grand prize.

Their work will be judged by Los Angeles-based gallerist and art critic Mat Gleason, as well as master body painter Emma Cammack.

“I can now say I worked with RuPaul on a TV Pilot and he was a total professional,” Gleason revealed on Facebook. “When I walked on the set for the first time he stopped the filming in order to have my make up done to his liking. The crew explained that it is rare for a star to go out of their way to help a co-star to look their best. A generous, fun gentleman.”

"Skin Wars" winner Natalie Fletcher. Photo: Natalie Fletcher.

Skin Wars winner Natalie Fletcher.
Photo: Natalie Fletcher.

We’re impressed by the network’s decision to include an art critic/actual gallerist on the program, a precedent that may have been set by Bravo’s 2010–11 show Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, which featured the likes of Jerry Saltz, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Bill Powers, and Simon de Pury.

However, art-themed reality shows haven’t always performed well in the ratings, and are almost always lambasted by insiders. Most recently, Oxygen’s Street Art Throwdown received criticism from yours truly, as well as from Saltz, who told artnet News that he didn’t much care for Work of Art when he was on it and rarely took the time to even watch it. But RuPaul and Gleason will surely have a few barbs to throw to keep it entertaining.

Skin Wars: Fresh Paint will air on Wednesday, August 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. CT).

Related stories:

World Bodypainting Festival Turns Nude Bodies into Art

Over 100 New Yorkers Are Getting Naked For an Artist Today—Why?

Body Art Reaches New Heights in Emma Hacks’s Stunning Human Murals

Reality TV Show Street Art Throwdown Promises to Discover Next Banksy


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