Size Matters | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Size Matters

Is Arnold Schwarzenegger circa 1969 a work of art? When you think of the curve of his muscles, his ice-tray stomach, and his itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie bikini bottom, are you thinking, “That's perfection!”? Probably not - such superhuman form is pretty horrifying.

Our ideas of beauty and how they relate to the body have been a part of artistic expression since, well, the beginning of art. Concepts of beauty have changed, but it seems that the ideal masculine form has always been contingent upon how strong the sculpted man looks, not necessarily how aesthetically appealing it is. Body-building competitions should be thanked for making muscles equal opportunity, as women participated more and more despite society’s squeamishness about seeing a woman with thighs bigger than cannon balls and biceps that deliver the power of a Mack truck. Thursday, the Museum of Art of Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University, and the 2009 NPC Southern States Championships will present "The Muscular Body as Living Art," a live exhibition that will feature bodybuilding champions replicating poses of famous works of art like Michelangelo’s David and Rodin’s The Thinker. While they’re posing, NSU faculty members will lecture on the importance of the demonstrated piece as well as male and female muscular body images throughout history, from Greek sculpture to pop art.

Audience members are encouraged to participate in the discussion, which will be held at 6 p.m. at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale’s Horvitz Auditorium, located at 1 E. Las Olas Blvd. A reception featuring food and drinks, bodybuilders, music and a wall-to-wall screening of the Schwarzenegger documentary Pumping Iron will follow in the museum’s outdoor Sculpture Terrace. Tickets cost $20 in advance, $25 at the door. The 2009 NPC Southern States Bodybuilding Championships will take place Friday and Saturday at the War Memorial Auditorium, located at 800 NE Eighth St. in Fort Lauderdale. For more information, call 954-525-5500, or visit
Thu., July 9, 6 p.m., 2009