Kurt Stallaert “Bodybuilder’s World”
During Olympics season, athletes emerge from their small town swimming pools and sand gyms to take the world stage; and honestly, it’s hard not to wonder if the top US athletes are the offspring of demi-gods or if HD somehow digitally enhanced their muscles. I couldn’t stop thinking about the sheer strength and capabilities of the men’s gymnastics team after watching their trials on ESPN this year — they just couldn’t be real.
Apparently, it takes more than a sweet cable set-up to master the figure of the Gods. It takes tenacity, talent, and perhaps a few digital alterations from a professional photographer. No, swimming champion Michael Phelps didn’t need to be airbrushed that drastically on the front of Details Magazine this month, but Belgium artist Kurt Stallaert used photo enhancing for his photography series “Bodybuilder’s World.”
Stallaert imagines a place where Olympic athletes aren’t the only people with superhuman figures. Filled with people of all ages, in different settings, and of different races, his images are a far cry from reality. While we sit idly and watch the world’s greatest competitors duke it out for the gold, in Stallaert’s world, anyone could be a cast member of The Avengers.
The popular kids’ lunch table is that much more intimidating when they appear to have the strength to literally kill. An angelic young girl sits by a snow covered mountain that it looks like she just bench pressed. The incredible thing about Stallaert’s images is that they look remarkably real. Without knowing that these are digitally enhanced, it would appear that there are young men and women spending their free time pumping iron instead of chatting on Facebook.
Maybe these photographs aren’t that far from reality after all. In some strange way, they make us even more excited for the London Olympics. Let the games begin.