Muhammad Ali (FS II.181)
By Andy Warhol
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Reference: FS II.181
Edition size: Edition of 150, 10 AP, 1 PP
Sheet size: 40x30 inches
MUHAMMAD ALI 181
Warhol photographed Muhammad Ali for his Athletes series in 1978. Part of a portfolio of four, this screenprint focuses on Ali’s powerful fist. Echoing the color of a boxing glove or maybe even the blood of an opponent, Warhol applies a ruddy red to the clenched fist and highlights it with a splash of turquoise.
MUHAMMAD ALI 181 AS PART OF ANDY WARHOL’S LARGER BODY OF WORK
Muhammad Ali 181 by Andy Warhol is an iconic screenprint which was created as part of his Athletes series from the 1970s. In 1978, Warhol photographed Muhammad Ali for his aforementioned series. Richard Weisman, who was both an art collector and a sports enthusiast, initiated the project, which included athletes like soccer player, Pelé, and golfer, Jack Nicklaus. Even though Warhol wasn’t a fan of sports himself, he did see an interest in the realm of an athlete’s celebrity and fame. He recalled: “I really got to love the athletes because they are the really big stars.” Ali proved to be a difficult subject, but Warhol managed to snap a few photos of him during a marathon session. Ali’s fist not only symbolizes his strength as an athlete, but more implicitly symbolizes his identity and his life force.