5/6/10 4:26 PM
The history of art is littered with naked female forms, but before women’s bodies became the human subject of choice the Ancient Greeks displayed a marked preference for the male version. Hence all those gorgeous, rippling and very naked marble men, from David to the Laocöon. What’s happened to them since? On the surface our contemporary culture prefers GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS!, but look beyond beer ads and nudie clubs and a subtle picture of repressed homoeroticism emerges, most especially in organized sports. Even more so in the kind of athleticism pictured by Noah Rosenblatt-Farrell, an artist who also happens to be the official photographer for Carolina Fight Promotions, the largest organizer of mixed martial arts fighting in the southeast. Dr. No, as the fighters call him, takes pictures of rippling, tattooed guys as they pummel each other to unconsciousness in a cage for a paying audience. They are gorgeous and violent, and they spare one another no brutality. Some of Dr. No’s pictures are boring promotional stuff, but most of them reveal the intense, pulchritudinous quality of these punishingly intertwined male bodies—showing them for the contemporary Greeks that they are. Would that our ideals were as well rounded as the Greeks’, and included mental greatness alongside the physical.