THE WEIGHT OF PERFECTION
Photos by Aaron Brimhall | Words by Brett Smith
“At one level he’s a simple study in proportions, but at another he’s the expression of an ideal: a human figure whose body is the world, whose mind is its spirit, and whose being represents the power and order of the heavens brought down to Earth.
His spread-eagled figure haunts the circular layout of Roman temples and cities, the full span of the globe, even the cosmos itself.” —Toby Lester on Vitruvian Man from his book Da Vinci’s Ghost
Even the Vitruvian Man wasn’t perfect. Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic drawing is accepted today as a credible image of the ideal proportions of the human body. Based on the work of the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius, Vitruvian Man—a 13.5 x 10-inch pen-and-ink drawing circa 1490—represents the measure of all things. Da Vinci showed that a well-built man with arms and legs fully extended fits perfectly into a circle and a square. But da Vinci had to manipulate the shapes to make him fit. The center of the circle is positioned at his navel, while the center of the square is lower.
One spring day in 1996, the ideal man of supercross fell short of perfection, and the rest of the world won’t let him forget it...