An alternative perception of beauty; BODY_mass by Rita Bulatova

BODY_mass, the series about bodybuilding, and an alternative perception of beauty, so fittingly came as latter. Unable to travel to pursue my other projects, and having spare time on my hands while being in my hometown

Rita Bulatova is a Russian-born visual artist and a writer. She works in a range of mediums including digital illustration, acrylics, and photography.

Although drawn to arts from a very young age, she wasn’t planning on career in a creative field and went on to graduate with a Bachelors Degree in International Relations from Queen Mary University of London.

Having started with a travel photography in her college years, she hasn’t given this medium the attention it deserved until her mid-twenties. Rita’s gradual transition into pursuing photography on a professional level has started by chance as she was asked to take maternity portraits for her sister-in-law. This first studio experience brought along new clients seeking to take portraits of their families or themselves. It was time to buy a new camera, and give photography a chance. Starting to feel comfortable on set, Rita has then began experimenting with fashion and street photography. Heavily influenced by the works of Magnum photographers, Rita has always been in awe of photographers working in documentary genre. “One of the best things about being a photographer is that it allows you to meet plenty of interesting people from all walks of life,” says Rita about what she enjoys about this medium. “The second best thing is that you get to walk a lot.”

While working on a burlesque photo book, which she hopes would let her capture all the contemporary performers of the day at the pique of their career, she also makes time for small documentary series such as ‘BODY_mass.”

“Sometimes ones’ works emerges from the abundance, other times you create within restrictions. BODY_mass, the series about bodybuilding, and an alternative perception of beauty, so fittingly came as latter. Unable to travel to pursue my other projects, and having spare time on my hands while being in my hometown, I reached out to a family friend who has become a fitness coach and was competing in the bodybuilding arena. Seeing all the blood, sweat, and tears, that would go into archiving the shape required to participate in the competitions, and the glittery glamour of bodybuilding ceremonies in her instagram updates, I instantly saw an opportunity for a documentary project. I was drawn to the juxtaposition of the backstage exhaustion and the onstage smiles of the athletes. I felt like in many ways I was cutting to the very core of the beauty debate. What is beauty? What is acceptable and non-acceptable? How much are you willing to give up and how fare are you willing to go? The bodybuilding series was drawn by a personal interest and has unintentionally become a conversation starter.” [Official Website]

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