By Tui Benjamin
These two cheeky artists left unique street art emblazoned across a city – by painting their naked bodies and pressing themselves against walls.
Artist Mik Shida, 27, and model girlfriend Zheani Sparkes, 21, daubed themselves in blue house paint to leave the distinctive patterns at 20 locations across Melbourne, Australia.
The pair snuck out at 7am on a Sunday morning to pull off the revealing stunt but said no one noticed what they were doing or stopped them at the time.
Melbourne-based Mik, who has been a street artist for the last 15 years, said: “There were not many people around when we did it, we picked locations where there wouldn’t be a lot of traffic on a Sunday and it was 7am so no one even noticed us at all.
“It’s not like we were running around naked in front of a whole bunch of people, we drove between locations and were keeping ourselves covered up in between.
“But we used normal exterior house paint so it was extremely difficult to scrub off afterwards.
“There are always some people who do not approve and there was a certain element of it being a statement but it was not meant to be a big rebellious thing.
“Reactions to the video have been quite different but it has mostly been good. There have been a few people who were shocked, but I think if they were actually here in Melbourne to see the art it would be different, it is about putting it into context.”
Mik and Zheani left the abstract naked body art at 20 locations in a 25-mile radius of Melbourne last Sunday (April 30).
The pair stripped off and painted themselves with blue exterior house paint before hiding under large overcoats to casually stroll up to white walls.
Once in position, they whipped back the coats and pressed their naked bodies against the wall, wriggling and writhing to get the best print.
Mik said he was inspired by Czech artist Yves Klein, who used naked women as human paintbrushes to create images on canvasses.
And the couple have plans to repeat the performance in more yet-to-be-disclosed locations soon.
Mik said: “Yves Klein did a similar thing where he used bodies as human paintbrushes in the sixties. We thought it would be quite interesting to take that idea and do it in the street.
“My work is abstract, psychedelic and often erotic. The colour was significant to Yves Klein and we thought blue was interesting to play with, there is a spirituality behind blue as a colour.
“I think even if people had seen us in the suburbs where we were they would have been quite accepting, Melbourne has an exciting arts scene with lots of different things going on.”