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SHOP LAGUNA: Spa turns bodies into art

Laguna Beach artist Polina Hryn’s new EmBODYment Art Spa offers customers not only a place to relax, but also to become part of a unique and personal piece of art.

Hryn uses the human body as a paintbrush, covering customers in a dark acrylic paint and pressing their forms against a canvas to create a silhouette.

A plaster-and-color background is applied behind the silhouettes by Hryn, who works with customers to bring out that individual’s vision. A customer’s form can be made into anything from an angel to a butterfly to a mermaid. If a customer sees it, Hryn will try to create it for them.

The painter-cellist- poet-novelist said since the commissioned pieces are generally for a client’s home, it’s important to capture what that person wants.


“I think in your home you want art that makes you happy,” Hryn said.

Hryn’s goal when she meets a client is to find what inspires them, and help put that on canvas. While Hryn creates the piece, the art is really about Hryn’s customer. She said the individual model is what gives each work life.

“It’s their energy that’s in that painting,” Hryn said.

The care put into creating the piece is uplifting for Hryn’s customers, she said. This is what creates the unique spa aspect of EmBODYment. That and the hot towel cabby.


“It’s kind of a cleansing, healing art,” Hryn said.

One of the challenges for EmBODYment was finding an appropriate space. Galleries aren’t too keen on the idea of people stripping down and lathering up with paint. Nor are spas, making Hryn’s venture a bit of an orphan.

“I didn’t seem to fit anywhere else so I opened up my own space,” Hryn said.

EmBODYment customers have many options to customize how they want their art to come out.

Hryn will change the consistency of the plaster on the canvas or the shade of the paint. She can add more detail to the silhouetted images, or leave them more vague.

Leaving small parts of the forms to the imagination is one of the techniques Hryn loves to use. She says the negative space created by the silhouettes is just as interesting to her as the detail that’s there.

“I see perfection in the imperfection,” Hryn said. “If you look at what God made, you can see the imperfections.”

Hryn is willing to try just about anything her customers request. Individuals, couples and even whole families can be part of making a personal artwork.


Customers needn’t buy the original if they can’t afford it. Packages may include the painting, various sizes of prints and boxes of notecards. Patrons can choose from an assortment of combinations to suit their budget. When a customer opts not to buy the original, it goes into Hryn’s personal collection.

For more information on Polina Hryn and the EmBODYment Art Spa, visit