point, we must make a distinction between two narratives, of the athlete and
of the hero. The athlete is the figure who is actively engaged in the “act.”
His muscles are appropriately tensed or relaxed as if he is in the moment. The
pose and body language are believable in their detailing. This action is
communicative. It expresses not only the figure’s physical prowess but also
his personal or spiritual strength. The hero is the figure who, while equally
muscular, is not convincingly engaged in the action of the moment. He looks
as if he is posing for the camera, stilted, awkward, or too relaxed.
Compositional concerns (to make a harmonious work of art) overrun the sweaty
and distasteful details of physical exertion in athletics or war.