There’s a wonderful vividness and vibrancy to Brian Finke’s photography. In the past he’s captured cheerleaders, hip hop honeys and US law enforcement agencies, and now he’s explored the world of bodybuilding in all its rippling, tanned glory.
Most Muscular first started as a commission: “Initially, I was assigned by Men’s Journal to shoot the Mr. Olympia competition in Las Vegas,” Brian explains. “I had been taking lots of sport photos but I was fascinated by how extreme of a sport and lifestyle bodybuilding was so I continued to explore this subculture.”
The colours throughout the series glow unnaturally as tight, bedazzled Lycra stretches over mock sun-kissed skin. It’s incredible to see this alternative ideal of perfection, where the contenders have pushed their bodies to the extreme to achieve god-like proportions. But Brian’s cleverly mixed shots of the main-stage competition with smaller moments and it’s these details the photographer finds most interesting. “Once when I was photographing at a competition the female competitors backstage were pumping up, so there were dumbbells scattered around the floor but the women had on these great high heels, the juxtaposition was so bad ass.”
As diamanté shoes twinkle next to rusty weights and a Superman tattoo nestles itself on a mahogany torso, Brian was keen to show the lighter side of the sport. “Bodybuilding has been so heavily photographed and in such a serious way I wanted to capture more of the humour and off-beat moments,” Brian says.