Painting Gotye: A Q&A With the Aussie Body-Painting Artist Behind the "Somebody I Used to Know" Video

If you are one of the more than 200 million people who have viewed the film clip for the Gotye song “Somebody That I Used to Know” you will be familiar with the extraordinary transformation of the bodies of the Belgian-Australian musician and New Zealand singer/songwriter Kimbra into amazing works of art that gradually fade into a background image until both are totally camouflaged.

The amazing metamorphosis that takes place in the video is thanks to Australian artist Emma Hack, whose extensive experience as a ‘skin illustrator’ caught the attention of the video’s director Natasha Pincus. Hack, an Adelaide-based artist, is well known in Australia and internationally for her extraordinary photos of painted bodies camouflaged against often complex background images. Her artworks have grown in popularity since her so-called “Wallpaper Collection,” featuring models against the ’60s- and ’70s-era wallpaper designs. Now she paints her own canvas backgrounds; each of her photographic artwork takes eight to fifteen hours to complete.

For the “Somebody I Used to Know” video, Emma worked closely with Gotye himself on the background design — the video’s painting is actually based on an ’80s work by Gotye’s artist father Frank de Backer, whose work is also featured on the cover and inside of the CD packaging of the album “Making Mirrors.” In a recent exclusive interview, ARTINFO Australia executive editor Nic Forrest spoke with Hack about the details of her work on the clip.

For the interview with Nicholas Forrest and a link to the video please visit Artinfo.