Between 1997 and 2000, Gaudiani travelled the United States photographing the secretive world of professional and amateur body builders, with full press and backstage privileges. Gaudiani gained the trust and friendship of the body builders. Many told her their stories of struggles to look and be perfect since childhood and confessed awareness that they would never “measure up”. Their built bodies become both manifestations of the strength they seek and masks to hide the weaknesses they feel inside. These images seek to reveal what lies behind the mask. They give the body builders the license to acknowledge their inner lives and bring into focus the blurring between the public and private face.
From the 7th Internationale Fototage Mannheim/Ludwigshafen catalogue: “The body as an industrialized physical training machine: the world of the body builder…The images of ideal form and harmony of strength, health, and beauty are shattered”.