Weird World: Art created with blood, sweat and… FAT – Miami artist crafts soap from own liposuctioned blubber

By Sam Ruffe

Any good piece of art takes a certain amount of blood, sweat and tears from the dedicated artist – but you would have the thought the line was drawn at body blubber. Until now, that is.

A Miami-based performance artist has astounded museum-goers this week by exhibiting and selling soap made from his own liposuctioned fat.

Reminiscent of Tyler Durden’s dodgy business antics in Fight Club, Orestes De La Paz crafted 20 individual bars which are now on show at Miami’s Frost Museum.

The idea came about when the hairstylist and make-up artist underwent liposuction in December of last year and needed a way to preserve the blubber before it went rancid.

“There’s always a certain amount of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into any artwork. I just make it more explicit,” De La Paz told HuffPost Miami.

“Those brave enough to wash ended up inspiring others too simply to try a good product. No one seemed disgusted by the soap demo even after having watched the video in the gallery.

“The museum-goers were so at ease that the idea of the soap being from human fat escaped their minds and they simply enjoyed the soap for the way it left the hands soft after washing.”

De La Paz’s exhibition also features a video of the cosmetic procedure, footage of him washing with the soap and a film of him boiling the fat.

Visitors at the museum are invited to sample the product which, along with fat, includes coconut oil, organic vegetable shortening, lavender and tree tea oils.

Aside from leaving hands clean and soft, De La Paz believes the soap challenges the way users think about recycling materials often thought as revolting.

“There’s something about converting the notions about how we approach fat that can sometimes be seen as dirty or repulsive,” he explained to Miami New Times.

“Being able to convert it into something that is cleansing, and also potentially healing, reflects the phrase ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’.

“Converting something that was dirty and putting it into something that was clean, and then putting that thing that I saw as dirty onto my body and reclaiming what I was ashamed of before.”

Anyone interested in using another human beings’ fat for soap can purchase a bar, along with the DVD of the liposuction procedure, for the tidy sum of $1,000.

Image courtesy of the HuffPost via Vimeo, with thanks.

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