If renaissance composite-portraitist and proto-Surrealist par excellence Giuseppe Arcimboldo was a gym rat, he might've produced something similar to the new 24 Hour Fitness campaign from the New York office of Publicis. Art director Slav Nikolav, who actually gets to sign this work, readily acknowledges his fine-arts education as part of his inspiration for these muscle mosaics. "I was always interested in Surrealism as an art movement, and I spent years drawing nude models in similar positions to the figures in these posters, trying to catch and exaggerate every muscle of their bodies," he says. "My sculpting classes were also a big help, in which the challenge was to experiment with different materials." In this case, the materials are fit flesh, based on the photos of acclaimed action/nude shooter Howard Schatz. And it's interesting to note that the "models" aren't gender-exclusive; each figure contains both male and female elements. "We wanted to create visually impactful pieces of art that pay respect to the human body but at the same time carry a bigger idea of unity, strength, and beauty," says writer Brian Wiesenthal.
Client: 24 Hour Fitness Agency: Publicis, New York CW: Brian Wiesenthal AD/Retoucher: Slav Nikolav Photographer: Howard Schatz Art Producer: Loren Drabkin