by Margot Pierce
Photographer Howard Schatz’s series Athlete is a striking exploration of the beauty of the human physique.
In the series, which can be found as a book on Amazon, Schatz captures different variations of the physical human beauty: from bodybuilders and their sculpture-like muscles to bone-thin marathon runners and petite gymnastics athletes, the series explores the ideal physique required to compete in each sport, a physique that is not only celebrated as the result of genetics and hard training but also admired as a “divine machine”.
“With a seamless blend of art and precision, Schatz shows us the awesome upper-body power of Olympic wrestling champions, discus throwers, and football players; the lissome graces of high jumpers and rhythmic gymnasts, the shock-absorbing legs of downhill skiers, the sculptural perfection of NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens and sprinter Shawn Crawford; the compact muscularity of gymnasts Tasha Schwikert and Sean Townsend; the Giacometti-like slenderness of marathoners Tegla Loroupe and American marathon champion Deena Drossin; as well as 125 other athletes at the top of their games. In serene portraits and intricately dissected motion photographs, Schatz gives us an unprecedented celebration of the body as divine machine, and manages at the same time to present a collective view of the human spirit at its most intense.”