David Burnett: Man Without Gravity

The finest photographs in David Burnett's "Man Without Gravity" — an exhibition of pictures taken at various Olympic Games since 1984 — focus little on sport. Burnett, a photojournalist, is best when he turns his attention elsewhere: to, for instance, the hundreds of spectators watching a ski jumper bounding toward a white expanse. "I have the luxury of never having been the photographer who was relied upon to get the winner in that victorious pose," Burnett says, and that luxury affords him a greater sense of the scale of the Games; they are always about more than just who wins and loses. Even so, Burnett can get into the mind of an athlete: A shot of two Greco-Roman wrestlers blurs everything but the tackle; one fighter looks focused, the other defeated. The scale of the Games is huge, yes — but for the players, it's about the moment.

Photo: © David Burnett / Courtesy Anastasia Photo and Contact Press Images
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