I've blogged about sport-as-art previously, but since the 2010 Mr. Olympia competition is right around the corner, I thought I'd revisit the relationship between sport, art, and the body in motion. Think about the term "bodybuilder," and what comes to mind? Is it a perfectly symmetrical upper body with sweeping, yet proportional thighs? Is it a more freaky body, with enormous traps and legs that dwarf the manhood between them? Is it...our lame duck governator Arnold? Or is it merely a stage that only a chemist could love? All of these things come to mind for me, at one time or another. Recently, what comes to mind is the body as a work of organic art, or evolving art, or enhanced art, and of ironic art. In particular, I have been thinking about one of the top bodybuilders, Kai Greene, and how he represents something that is sometimes lost in our spectacle-laden (or driven?) culture. In fact, many sport studies scholars might say it is all BUT lost. Kai Greene is huge. He is around 5'8" and around 260+ pounds. But Kai Greene is an artist...in many ways. He sees the sport as art, and he himself is an artist in the traditional sense, a painter specifically. Some purists complain that Kai's posing routines (see one guest routine below) do not really accentuate his strong points, but rather obscure them in a whirlwind of fluid movements. Strike a pose, squeeze, and hold it...that is how it is generally done. Not headstands. Not moonwalking. Not miming. In a hypercorporatized sporting environment, I tend to root for the artist. The artist could give a damn about convention, and may even sacrifice economic gain for what he or she views as their own authentic creative endeavor, as poesis. Of course, the artist may profit, but its a gamble. We'll see how Kai Greene fairs on September 25th, but whether or not he improves upon his 4th place from last year, I will admire his attempt to centralize art, creativity, and perhaps even (more than a bit of) flamboyance in an event ripe with ironies and overflowing with jacked up bodies.