Wednesday, July 28, 2010

martin schoeller "female bodybuilders"

martin schoeller's show opened about a million and a half hours ago, to be incredibly exact. or rather...three weeks ago.
we opened on a wednesday, which is unusual, but it was the weekend of july 4th.

it was one of the biggest openings i've witnessed as an intern.
the show featured two parts. in the main part of the gallery was the "female bodybuilders" segment.
in the back featured schoeller's close ups of well known people including sarah palin, paris hilton and marc jacobs.

(L- my friend emma)

what i find so incredibly strong about schoeller's work is the use of 4x5 or 8x10 format coupled with the intense close ups of his subjects. the lighting, the bare background and the crop featuring just the face or the shoulders and face are so intimate, i find myself lost in the subjects- looking for personalities, emotions, and i find myself projecting upon them. his subjects even, neutral stares force us, the audience, to draw our conclusions about the subjects. schoeller offers little opinions and that is the beauty of his work. his neither judging nor placing his subjects upon a pedestal and with confrontational subject matter (sarah palin, barack obama portraits and the female bodybuilders) this is the strength of the work. the size of the prints distorts but also projects, it reminds me of cinema, when is the time one usually sees faces that large.
there is something so incredibly off putting about the female bodybuilders, perhaps knowing what extremes they put their bodies through but also seeing the evidence about it (the body augmentation via breast implants, the perhaps steroid use and the size of their muscles, the makeup, the very dark spray tans, the rhinestone encrusted bikinis) and the titles are just the women's names, i find myself wondering about them, who they are, how they ended up here, and what lead to them competing in bodybuilding competitions.
even three weeks later, i still am thinking about the show.
i love schoeller's comerical work in addition to his fine art work. he just manages to pique my interest, even in the most famous of subjects with how he photographs his subjects.
the not smile, sometimes the unmade face, the large prints to where you can see every pore- it humanizes his celebrity sitters while also projecting them the way the media does, which is larger than life, larger than reality.
you know it's great work when i find PARIS HILTON's face incredibly captivating and intriguing.

me making the world's dumbest face but in all honesty, i was laughing really hard at the photographer.
ebay marni shirt, marni skirt, prada shoes, pearls (a deb gift from my mom's friend).

if you are interested in seeing more of his work, check out Hasted Hunt Kraeulter or Martin Schoeller
be well,

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