While flipping through the new bodybuilder photo book, "Dynamite", by photographer Ulrich Oehmen (Bruno Gmuender) the expression, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," kept going through my mind. The hyper-inflated physiques of the body builders in the book were so cartoonish that it inspired far more grimaces than drool. While some of the men had traditionally handsome faces, what they’ve done to their bodies borders on the grotesque.
Musclemen have been an important part of the gay world and erotica for much of the past 70 years, but it’s unlikely the models here will appeal to anyone but the most enthusiastic of weightlifter fans.
Their abs look as though they were made of poured concrete, and the veins cover their chests and legs like a Southern California roadmap. With oiled physiques, tiny mini-shorts and stereotypical poses, the photos here look like something you’d find in those old Joe Weider magazines of the 80s and 90s. Even the gym and industrial settings seem tired and familiar.
It’s impossible to say if any of these mesomorphs actually took steroids, but their ridiculously over-sized physiques would seem to suggest it. With thighs larger than the average person’s torso and shoulders larger than Kim Kardashian’s ass, it’s impossible to look at these men without thinking about the women who’ve had too much plastic surgery. Extremes in body enhancement rarely look good.
All of the models are clothed, so even those looking for the usually excellent Bruno Gmuender homoerotic photos will be disappointed. There’s little skin here and no shots of anyone’s junk, which is probably for the best, as one guesses these men by now must have testicles the size of jellybeans.
If you’re into excessive bodybuilding and steroidal narcissism, then this book will be right up your alley. Most people will likely look at the outlandish physiques and poses and shake their heads about the absurdity of it all.
Bruno Gmuender Verlag GmbH
by Ulrich Oehmen