December 30, 2009 11:27 PM   Subscribe

Portraits of the Hadza people by Martin Schoeller, known for his close-ups (total of 126)
posted by growabrain (12 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
These photos are absolutely stunning. Just wow. I haven't felt this way about a single photograph - let alone a whole series of them - in a long, long time. Every single image fills me with questions and wonder. What do these female bodybuilders think about their faces? Their skin? Their breasts? How do they deal with aging? The celebrities - what about their identity? Where does it really begin and end? Are they pleased with what's been conveyed here? What do these photos say about them and the portrayal of them by the media, of which Martin Schoeller is a participant? What is authenticity and where does it lie? Is there more truth in this than a hollywood headshot? And the Hadza...where could I possibly begin? These photos inspire me to go find the answers.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:42 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

And as crappy as the writing in Nat'l Geo can be, in this case the corresponding feature article ain't all that bad.
posted by Rat Spatula at 2:03 AM on December 31, 2009

I like the photos, some of them are really good, but if this is the only thing the guy does, he's essentially taking the same photo over and over again, and, judging from the dates, he's been doing it for the last ten years. Sure, lighting like that is neat, but there's no creativity in doing it hundreds of times.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:03 AM on December 31, 2009

The good the bad and the ugly. Actually, they're all pretty ugly.
posted by Faze at 4:57 AM on December 31, 2009

I like how the lighting set-ups reflected in their eyes make about half of the subjects look like they have vertical slit pupils. They look like crazy evil goat-snake people.
posted by Wroksie at 5:04 AM on December 31, 2009

@Joakim Ziegler - I have the greatest admiration for someone who can “take the same photo over and over again” for ten years. “Creativity”, as you posit it, is over valued. It seems to me to be an entirely post-industrial and somewhat colonial idea - all about capturing new territory rather than farming it. (My new year’s resolution is to sacrifice breadth for depth - apologies if this is just personal anxieties spilling unnecessarily into the public realm...)
posted by silence at 5:06 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

I firmly believe the most successful art results from obsessive-compulsive iteration and exploration of a single concept. Doing so reveals the subtle, essential and ultimately enlightening differences that can only be perceived by subconsciously comparing A to B, C, DD, Z99, et.al. And only the best art reveals these differences in an insightful flash to the casual observer who hasn't spent the time with the subject. Art, thus, is a distillation of hidden meaning, whether delightful or disturbing. It is the absinthe of the soul.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:54 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

I found these pics very entrancing although many feel too re-touched. Like iamkimiam, I am full of questions too about the female bodybuilders.
And word, silence - that is how I feel too.
posted by honey-barbara at 6:26 AM on December 31, 2009

I'm curious about female bodybuilding now. Hasn't some big mag like New Yorker written a piece about them yet? If not, they should.
posted by melissam at 8:00 AM on December 31, 2009

So THAT"S what Meryl Streep actually looks like. (second link, image #103.) The January Vanity Fair pictures had me wondering if she'd had a new head cloned for herself or maybe was having amazing success with Suzanne Somers' hormones-up-the-hoo-hoo regime, but apparently it was just state-of-the-art makeup, lighting, and computer image manipulation making her look 30 at 60. I guess you can't blame her for giving the image makers free reign to work their magic, but I think she's beautiful in this more honest photograph.
posted by longsleeves at 8:48 AM on December 31, 2009

Why do female body builders have such masculine bone structure in their faces? Does lifting weights really boost testosterone that much, or is that just an obvious sign that these women take significant amounts of steroids? I don't see why lifting weights would boost testosterone more than other heavily athletic/competitive sports that women participate in, without developing skulls like cubes of granite.

Incidentally, a recent panel of medical experts ranked steroids far less harmful to health than alcohol, cigarettes, and weed. My New Years resolution is to juice up and develop a kick-ass square head.
posted by dgaicun at 8:36 PM on December 31, 2009

dgaicun: option three, female bodybuilding standards select for women with abnormal (but natural) levels of testosterone (although I think they almost certainly do take steroids). Another factor is that at competition level, they will have extremely low bodyfat, which will have the effect of making their faces more masculine.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:06 PM on December 31, 2009

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