I’m late by a day on this, as the new (June) issue of Esquire has now reached the provinces. However, the previous issue contained yet another variation on the few themes in service pieces published by that magazine. “Better Body, Better Man” by Curtis Pesmen gave us this rather chilling dek:

You’re doing OK. You’re doing just fine. No one thinks you’re fat. No one thinks you’re out of shape. No one looks at you and says, “How did he let himself go like that?” But in the back of your mind is that haunting knowledge that you could be… better.

Talk about preying on the insecurities. Such is the lament of anyone who goes to the gym but lacks the bodily-kinæsthetic intelligence. For us, the workout is simply a drag. (My brain shuts down after 35 minutes.) And the inverts with bodily-kinæsthetic intelligence are rare indeed.

Now, how do you illustrate a collection of stories on getting in shape? You hire Matt Mahurin, who in turn hires a model and creates a photo illustration:

I hold a copy of ‘Esquire’ showing a chiaroscuro image of shirtless man chiseling himself from a column of stone

It’s quintessential Mahurinism:

  • Starts with a live photo
  • Bravura Photoshopping, with chiaroscuro shading, particularly at top
  • Conceptual to the point of grotesquerie (as in chiseling oneself from an encrusted column of ectoplasm, carving yourself from the living rock; Cf. Metallica’s “Unforgiven”)
  • Homoerotic (Cf. R.E.M.’s “Orange Crush”)

‘Time’ cover with chiaroscuro shirtless hooded prisoner By coincidence, Mahurin illustrated the cover of this week’s Time. And he illustrated the cover of my book. (My first book.) We are now aware of that illustration’s cringeworthy resemblance to something else. Nonetheless, I went straight to the top and I’m very glad Matt Mahurin helped me.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2004.05.13 19:17. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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