Warhol photographed the boxer, Muhammad Ali, in 1977 as part of his 'Athletes' series. The project was initiated by the art collector and sports enthusiast, Richard Weisman, and featured a variety of sports stars. While photographing Ali at his training camp, Warhol recalled: “there was a nine-foot-tall portrait by LeRoy Neiman on the wall next to him. I hoped mine would come out as good”. Neiman is an American artist well known for his paintings of athletes and sporting events. This poster is for a joint exhibition with Warhol at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. In Warhol’s screenprint of Ali, prior to printing the image he worked into the surface with paint, creating the impression of movement. Warhol captures Ali’s fixed stare mimicking the concentration required during a fight.
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