Andy Warhol created Muhammad Ali 181 as part of a four part series of prints depicting the famous boxer. The prints use color and dimension as well as of Ali’s stoic nature to demonstrate the boxer’s supreme attentiveness during a fight. Each image of Ali featured in the portfolio showcases a different feature of the boxer, such as his fist or his profile, highlighted by different colors in each image. Muhammad Ali 182 is a softer image of Ali, looking straight to the camera with a kindness in his strength buttressed by the vibrant orange behind him.
Muhammad Ali 182 by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
Andy Warhol created the Muhammad Ali portraits as part of the Athletes series, which he completed in the 1970s. Richard Weisman, who was both an art collector and a sports enthusiast, initiated the project, which includes 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. He took Polaroid shots of the athlete, which then turned into this series of screenprints.