Look closely, this is actually a temple made out of seventeen people

Artist Trina Merry, 34, from New York, NY created a living temple out of seventeen naked circus performers and dancers to raise awareness for “Beyond the Four Walls”.

At first glance, this photo appears to be a temple with a rippled reflection in the water. But in fact its seventeen people cleverly painted to resemble a temple.

This innovative work of art was created by Trina Merry, known for her painted human sculptures- the Human Motorcycles, a human car for Fiat, and a human skull performance art piece- as well as her fine art camouflage body painting and installations.

Merry says, “Bodypaint creates a special connection to a person that other visual art forms have trouble accomplishing; it’s a distinctly human experience. My surface is living, breathing human beings making this a highly relevant & immediate medium.”

The 34 year old spent only thirty minutes of intense focus to puzzle together the human temple out of bodies.

She took nine hours to masterfully create this art piece live at WORKS San Jose Gallery using non-toxic water based body paint with brushes and airbrushes.

Merry says, “The painting is temporary, like a Tibetan sand painting, beginning to change into another work as soon as I stop painting, changing texture & color.”

While this temple was not inspired by any particular religion, Merry says she was inspired by the ancient uses of body paint to help heal a culture and its contemporary art implications.

“I love the double-take people do as they look at my work. The MET has documented that most people stop and view a work of art for only seventeen seconds. When I create a piece live people will sit and watch us for an hour- they connect on a deeply human level to the work. I love that the internet is a free global gallery to share these images. I find fans not only take the time to count all the people but also love to share them online with their friends instantly.”

Merry hopes to raise awareness to the social business venture “Beyond the Four Walls” in order to empower women in Nepal.

“This temple moves beyond a simple “WOW” factor to help empower the women of Nepal touched by ‘Beyond the Four Walls’. We are excited to partner with them and bring awareness to these talented and beautiful women. This is signified by the central gold woman in the image- she represents the healed and loved women in Nepal.” says Merry.

Nepal is the only country in the world where women have a shorter life expectancy then men. Many young girls are either sold into slavery to pay off family debts or married off as young as age nine. Women are responsible for all the hard labor and domestic duties of the house. 75% of women cannot read or write. Violent acts against women have been well documented in recent news in southeast Asia.

Beyond the Four Walls has created a solution in partnership with corporations like Motorola and American Apparel to create internet cafes that the girls can run, bringing money to their families and simultaneously allowing them a chance to get an education online and use the internet as a tool for jobs or to launch entrepreneurial ventures.

Merry hopes to bring awareness and compassion by creating this eye-catching art piece and tangible supplies like laptops and smart phones to these internet cafes when she and her team perform in Nepal in November. She and her Silicon Valley based team will be teaching practical skills on entrepreneurship, online marketing and business skills as well as fun hands on art and dance classes for these women to encourage and empower these promising next generation of talented women.

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