For all its variety, this collection has one underlying theme: water. The most dramatic photos in the collection are like the cover shot, dancers floating underwater. The amazing results shown here come from an equally amazing adventure in developing the techniques for taking these pictures.
In most of the photos, the artist and model both release their breath underwater until the air in their lungs no longer floats them to the surface. Then, the model is free to pose in ways that would be impossible in air. The model need not worry about balance or support against gravity, true. The water has subtler effects on the figure, too - for example, breasts float, giving them higher, rounder forms than gravity normally allows. Schatz's one zoftig model, Alexandra Beller, has the curves to show that effect in the most striking way. And, as the cover shows, hair and gauzy drapes can reach a flowing lightness that just isn't possible elsewhere.
Schatz found that dancers, and very few others, could work as his models. For one thing, they had the muscle knowledge and physical skill to use weightlessness effectively - after all, hadn't so many dancers been trying for that all along? For another, most women naturally bob to the top of pool. Dancers and other athletes typically have more lean mass, so can reach netural buoyancy much more easily.
Although the free-floating forms caught my attention most firmly, Schatz uses water on other ways, too. Its reflective surface, whether seen from above or below, creates baffling mirror-pairs of arms or legs that pierce that surface. Underwater bubbles or above-water droplets adorn the models, and bubble-trails create unearthly auras. Then to push his imagery even farther from the world of gravity, Schatz somtimes rotates or inverts his photos. In a few, the model faces her rippled reflection in the water's surface - but the image is turned so the surface of the pool appears to be a vertical plane.
It's a stunning collection, and not just because of the gorgeous figure studies. Schatz has done something truly new: he has freed the figure from gravity, and in doing so he has changed the shape of the figure itself.