Nadia Nardi

Photographed at the 2007 Atlantic City Pro in Atlantic City, New Jersey
Born November 21, 1976 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Resides in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Nadia has been bodybuilding for nine years and competing for seven. She turned pro at the Canadian Nationals in 2007. 
“Bodybuilding is a form of self-expression and freedom. Freedom, in the sense that it has enabled me to be different. I certainly stand out in a crowd. It’s a depiction of strength, perserverance, dedication and patience. To me, bodybuilding is a hobby and a lifestyle. It’s also a great way to channel my energy and relieve my stress. My physique is a work in progress. I’m always striving for perfection. Ultimately, I’m trying to develop a balanced, symmetrical physique with enough muscle mass to fill out my frame.” 

Competition Highlights: 2007 Canadian National Championship – 1st place middleweight and overall
© 2024 Martin Schoeller
Female Bodybuilders

The women featured in Female Bodybuilders work towards their ideal forms at great and varied cost. Many court danger by manipulating the performance enhancing drugs that are a worrying fixture and near requirement of their sport in the process. But their willingness to do this within the slim margins of their chosen sport, in contradiction to all of the widely established norms of a culture that openly rewards beauty and punishes perceived ugliness, is difficult not to respect.

I began photographing these women in 2003. From the first Polaroid, I was struck by the multi-dimensional complexity of the portrait. The contradictions were so seemingly apparent, so numerous and exciting, that I felt compelled to build a catalog outside the range of judgment; not to celebrate, condemn or expose, but merely to show.

In my other work, specifically the book and exhibition Close Up, I have tried to present intimate portraits of faces with as little artifice as possible. Familiar and famous faces are treated with the same levels of scrutiny and attention as the un-famous. The unknown and the too-well-known meet on a level platform, where a viewer’s existing notions of celebrity, value and honesty are challenged.

With the Female Bodybuilder series I am offering a proximate challenge. We all operate within narrowly constructed ideals of the good, the right, and the beautiful, all subject to the countless influences that swirl around us. The athletes presented here are no different in this regard, they are as vulnerable as any other person standing in front of a camera. So what is it that provokes our admiring, conforming, outraged, or confused response? If a subject is proud of the way she looks, whose discomfort are you feeling?
” - Martin Schoeller, Female Bodybuilders

2010, Female Bodybuilders, Hasted Hunt Kraeultler, New York, New York, USA
2008, Female Bodybuilders, Ace Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Female Bodybuilders
Pond Press

Selected Press
Tough In The Face Of Adversity, Glorious, USA
Our Eyes Are Up Here, The New York Times Sports Magazine, USA
Women Who Pump Iron,, USA
Ein Pakt Aus Wille Und Chemie, Stern, Germany
Female Bodybuilders, International Center of Photography, USA
Martin Schoeller, Female Bodybuilders, Ace Gallery, USA
Robert Graham, Martin Schoeller at Ace Gallery, Beverly Hills, Coagula Art Journal, USA
Martin Schoeller: Female Bodybuilders at Ace Gallery Beverly Hills, artnet, USA
Female Bodybuilders, HotShoe International, USA
Martin Schoeller - Female Bodybuilders,, USA
Les Tops Du Bodybuilding Par, PHOTO, France
I’ll Be Sinew, The Sunday Times, USA
Biomedical Enhancements: Entering a New Era, Issues in Science and Technology, USA
Martin Schoeller Female Bodybuilders, 1000 Words Photography, USA
Martin Schoeller Female Bodybuilders, The Photo Book, USA
Martin Schoeller Female Bodybuilders, Russia
Candid Camera, Marie Claire, USA
Une rentrée culturissme, A Nous Paris, France
Martin Schoeller, ArtForum, USA
Chelsea Photo Exhibit Flexes Viewers’ Notions of Beauty, DNAinfo, USA
Bodybuilders, Esquire Magazine, Russia
Der Kult um den Körper, GEO, Germany
A photo show with real muscle, LA Times, USA
Noted, Photographer’s Forum, USA
Bilden är död länge leve bilden, red, Sweden
Female Bodybuilders, The Magazine of the Arts, USA
On And Off The Walls: Female Bodybuilders, The New Yorker Photobooth, USA
Martin Schoeller, “Female Bodybuilders”, TimeOut, USA
Incredible pictures capture every ripple of world’s strongest women as female bodybuilders, DailyMail, UK
Martin Schoeller - Female Bodybuilders, Ultra Orange, USA
MRS testosteron, velvet, Netherlands
Sculpting Beauty, Velvetpark, USA