Title: Muhammad Ali Complete Portfolio (FS II.179-182)
Medium: Screenprint on Strathmore Bristol paper.
Size: 40″ x 30″
Edition: Edition of 150.
Muhammad Ali Complete Portfolio 179-182 by Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol created four screenprints about the great boxer Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali FS II179-182 Full Suite, are a set of four screenprints are part of Andy Warhol’s larger body of work relating to his depictions of celebrity life and culture. The screenprints are based on Polaroids taken of the famous boxer, and Muhammad Ali did not want Andy Warhol to photograph or make screenprints of him. Funnily enough, Ali owns a complete suite of the series himself. Full suites are extremely rare to come by.
Muhammad Ali Complete Portfolio 179-182 as Part of Andy Warhol’s Larger Body of Work
Warhol met Ali in 1977 while working on a photographic series based on celebrity ‘Athletes’. The project was initiated by the sports enthusiast and art collector Richard Weisman. The color screenprint portfolio soon followed. In 1978, Warhol photographed Muhammed Ali for his Athletes 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. Ali proved to be a difficult subject, but Warhol managed to snap a few photos of him during a marathon session. For Ali, the image of his fist symbolizes his success, his identity and his celebrity. Although Warhol wasn’t a sports enthusiast, he was fascinated by the fame that athletes like Ali had acquired. He recalled: “I really got to love the athletes because they are the really big stars”.