We’ve been fascinated with the ideal human form since ancient Greece and before, although that ideal form has been constantly changing. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why Howard Schatz’s Athlete series is so striking – it taps into the same focus on physical human beauty that ancient Greek sculptures and modern advertisements do.
In Athlete, Schatz explores many different variations of the human physique. We get to see bodybuilders with rippling muscles, bone-thin marathon runners, towering long-jumpers and massive wrestlers – all side-by-side. They are all oiled and all dressed in the same black underwear, giving a standardized and objective context within which we can truly appreciate and compare their different forms.
What also makes the series interesting is that, in many cases, these athletes are at the top of their sport – they represent the ideal physique required to most effectively compete in their demanding physical competitions. Their bodies are the perfect visual examples of how both genetics and years of specific targeted training come together to forge the world’s greatest athletes and, in their respective fields, the ideal human physique.
The photo series can be found as a book on Amazon.