Schwarzenegger is my idol

“Schwarzenegger is my idol” is the story about the young guys from Nikolayev (Ukraine) who are united by one thing – it’s a goal to become the best of the best and they will do everything possible to achieve it. The photos show the young people who engage in athletics, acrobatics, fitness, and bodybuilding. I asked one of the boys to tell me what role his hobby plays in his life. Here’s what he told me: “For me, my sport is what I live for. Daily control and hard work – that leads me to success. Sport disciplines a man, enables him to understand the value of labor, the value of choice.
I always wanted to be something more than an ordinary man in the street, more colossal than an ordinary representative of the society, so in my sport I do all the best I can, because I want to reach the top”.
Why are my «models» naked on photos? I think it adds them a kind of courage and naturalness. Of course it also looks funny and ironic.

Born in 1991 in Mykolayiv, Ukraine, Sergey Melnitchenko is the founder and curator of MYPH photography school and collective. He is member of UPHA – Ukrainian Photographic Alternative.
He started photography in 2009. For 10 years participated in more than 100 solo and group exhibitions around the world. Winner of Ukrainian and International competitions, including “Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award” in 2017, “Photographer of the year” in 2012, 2013 and 2016 (Kyiv, Ukraine), “Golden Camera” in 2012 (Kyiv, Ukraine). Shortlists of “Krakow Photomonth” in 2013 and “Pinchuk Art Center Prize” in 2015, etc. Participant of “Paris Photo” in 2017 and “Volta Art Fair” in frames of Art Basel in 2018, 2019, etc.

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