Queens artist enters the ‘Skin Wars’
When the Game Show Network premiered the second season of its new show Skin Wars, a Queens reality TV star was born.
Outspoken Fernello Nelson is a contestant in the body art competition, where each episode is devoted to a particular theme with the weakest art piece being eliminated. In the season premiere, which Nelson held a screening party for at Escape Penthouse in Astoria on Wednesday, he quickly rose as a favorite among the 12 competitors.
Nelson was the first to win a challenge on the show when his colorful depiction of “passion” blew away judges Craig Tracy, Robin Slonina and RuPaul, as well as host Rebecca Romijn. At the screening party, he showed off his skills by painting three models head-to-toe as Amazon goddesses with tribal influences. It’s one of his favorite styles because it makes his models appear “sexy and controversial.”
Art has always been a part of his life. Between an unlikely combination watching the Ninja Turtles and Bob Ross paint on television, Nelson grew up knowing he wanted to make art. As for body painting, he stumbled upon the art form while on a photo shoot five years ago. He’s come a long way in a short amount of time.
However, Nelson’s personality may interfere with his success in future episodes of the show. Many of his fellow contestants were displeased when it came to his overconfidence. Throughout the episode, he was deemed “annoying” several times, especially when he called the show his “kingdom” in front of the judges and contestants. One competitor even said that Nelson’s “big head will lead to a mighty fall.”
None of that bothers him, though, and besides, it makes for good reality TV. He understands that the artists all have their differences, and his only goal is to be the last one standing.
“I just want to have fun, enjoy the moment and everything has to be spontaneous,” Nelson said. “I don’t think about how people think about me, I just try to be myself.”
His no-regret, larger-than-life persona is more evident when he talked about becoming the “Bill Gates of painting.” Although he currently works at North Shore University Hospital, his dream is to own his own body art business and employ other artists worldwide. But to do that, you have to have a certain drive, Nelson said.
“By having the Bill Gates of painting mentality, it means you want to be number one,” he said. “I believe if you think you’re number one, and you act like you’re number one, sooner or later you will be number one.”
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