i have found a unique fondness for the sparse storytelling in the exercise inspired images of luke smalley (1955-2009). his ability to exchange the profound with the naive in such a simplistic way is a testament to his vision. although often described as minimalist nostalgia, i believe the soul of these photographs rests in his talent to create a balance between the natural tenderness of the athletic adolescents and their distracted earnest engagements. the collection ‘gymnasium’ has an essence of fascist celebration reminiscent of the propagandist WWII era, while the later work contains more bizarre activities mixed with a retro-humour. throughout his compositions however, he conveys a certain honesty which i find a remarkably refreshing and an uncannily delicate portrayal of masculinity.