Supermodels Jordyn Johnson and Sydney Falkner being transformed into living masterpieces.
Supermodel Jordyn Johnson @jordynjohnsonn is lying on the studio floor, wearing nothing but a smile. With Lady Gaga booming overhead, an abstract rainbow of non-toxic paint is being meticulously applied all over her body, as a photographer captures every pose. The vibe is joyful. How does Jordyn feel?
“Liberated,” Jordyn says. “I would do this again a million times. Diana makes me feel so beautiful.”
She’s talking about Phoenix artist Diana Price, who, at 28, is fast becoming a fashion darling who’s taking the art world by storm. Her curated street couture is designed to appeal to everyone from Kim Kardashian to kids on the corner. Because they feature one-of-a-kind works of art she creates by painting…on her clients.
“I’m living my truth,” she says, brushing back her soft blonde hair with a paint-splattered hand. “Which is to turn people into works of art. Seeing them feel good about themselves. That’s what I love most.”
“It’s definitely spiritual,” says Diana Price, “There’s something divine in making people feel so free.”
Clients who spend an afternoon inside Diana’s Phoenix, Arizona studio, (AKA her garage), say they love it too.
“The experience was life-changing, empowering,” says Sydney Falkner (@sydneeliana), another supermodel who adored her day with Diana. “Diana made me feel strong, feminine, and beautiful. She made me feel ‘seen.’”
Reviewing the latest images and video from a mid-October shoot, Diana does her best to describe the ethereal process.
“Once I lay down a base coat, I add two or three more colors. Then I let the energy dictate what happens next. It’s extremely collaborative.” The confidence her clients feel gives her confidence, too. “There’s definitely technique involved, but there’s plenty of spontaneity too. No shoot is exactly the same.”
So far, Diana has painted 30 clients, who all echo the same sentiments. More confidence, fewer inhibitions, total joy. “The Art of Empowerment,” Diana says, “is really all about beauty and truth.”
Born and raised in Phoenix, Ms Price finds inspiration from Andy Warhol, Betsy Johnson, Jackson Pollock, and Lady Gaga. Like them, she was known to be somewhat rebellious.
“Growing up, I was a rule bender, for sure,” she says, smiling and shrugging. “Once at a high school football game, on a dare, I ran onto the field and swiped the ball. I gave the crowd a story they’re still talking about,” she laughs. The story perfectly captures her brand’s motto: make your mark.
“I want people to feel the things that I once struggled with, things I wanted to feel in my life. The need to be recognized, feel beautiful, and feel good enough. I like making clients feel seen, noticed, and adored,” Diana ponders. “I like making them know that in my studio, they really are all of those things.”
Finding her way to Painted Citizen was not easy.
“It’s not lost on me that the word ‘pain’ is embedded in the word ‘paint,” Diana says, smiling. “It was hard, overcoming what life tossed at me,” she says, keeping the specifics private. “Coming out of my pain, all I could think of was, ‘The answer is in the paint.’ I’m fortunate I listened to my heart. That’s something I encourage in my clients. They get to carry their newfound confidence, in their hearts and in their souls, for the rest of their lives.”
Body of Work
Painted Citizen’s founder and Chief Empowerment Officer, Diana Price, in her work clothes.
She dreams of bringing her fashion and its message of empowerment all over the world.
“This has become my life’s passion,” Diana says. “And it’s so rewarding. Giving clients once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and letting them relive in those moments forever, through beautiful photography and high-end street couture.”
It’s one thing to own a work of art. But to be one? Diana confirms the spiritual side to it.
“There’s something divine that happens,” Diana muses, “when I’m painting on someone’s body, that I didn’t plan on happening. It feels perfectly imperfect. I don’t know how it all happens in this garage, but it does. What can I say? I’m blessed.”
Painted Citizen is accepting new clients. To book a session or purchase couture, go to PaintedCitizen.com.
Opinions expressed by NY Weekly contributors are their own.