Muhammad Ali: Athlete of the century

LeRoy Neiman • Painting, 2001
About the artwork
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Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Portrait
Style of art: Pop Art
Date of creation: 2001
Artwork in collection: My collection Tatyana Somova
Artwork in selections: 1 selection

Description of the artwork «Muhammad Ali: Athlete of the century»

It won't be an exaggeration to say that Leroy Neiman drew only animals and sports. The whole world seemed to him a gigantic arena, and the so-called "American way of life" - a contest in which each tries to grab the tail of the Great American Dream. Politicians, pop stars, the movers and shakers on wall street, successful chefs, renowned journalists, the legendary gangsters – all of them Neumann believed "gladiators and titans of modern America". First and foremost he was interested in how much a particular character is ready to throw on the altar of victory, and second, that in his hands: a baseball bat, saxophone or Golden pen. However, most of the other disciplines he was fascinated by Boxing.

Leroy Neiman is one of the few non-athletes who are guaranteed a lifelong place in fight Hall of Fame: in the world of professional Boxing, it is revered no less than Michael Buffer, say, or Sylvester Stallone. He drew the box so much and with such a sincere respect for the profession that it soon became in Boxing circles as its. For him there was always a seat in the VIP box in Madison Square Garden or the MGM Grand, and if Neumann met with any great champion, it was not yet known who who ask for an autograph. George foreman once joked in an interview that the painting of Leroy Neiman has completely changed his life: "I was a bloodthirsty Neanderthal, but seeing your portrait the work of Neumann, immediately rehabilitated and was smiling nice person".
Neumann even had a chance to step into the ring in gratitude for the famous portrait rocky Balboa Stallone gave him a small role in the same series. It's amazing that Neumann so often and boldly barked at the subtle art of criticism, considering how many friends-the heavyweights he had.

Love Neumann Boxing was absolute and all-forgiving: even such an odious character like don king (Boxing promoter, known for his untidiness in Affairs – reD.) he drew with friendliness. And the epitome of all that is good in this sport, Leroy Neiman was Muhammad Ali – his close friend and his constant model. "Muhammad Ali: athlete of the century" - one of hundreds of portraits of Ali, written by Neumann (many of them now adorn the walls of the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville. And perhaps the most successful, because it (in addition to the portrait similarity) Leroy managed to convey all that he loved Boxing. Strength, courage, constant movement, grace, the will to win, nokautera bright colors. Among other things, that portrait Neumann made a point of racial overtones accompanying professional Boxing here for a good hundred years. Looking at this champion, no one can deny that he is colored. But the meaning of this word is not what it was during the first black champion Jack Johnson.

The two had been close until the death of von Neumann. They had a lot in common: Ali was a true expressionist in the ring, Neiman fluttered a butterfly and a bee stung his canvases. There was something else that United the greatest boxer of all time and one of the brightest representatives of contemporary pop art.

Once Leroy Neiman developed specifically for the Ali design boxeruk. It made a total of two pairs of wrestling shoes purple the second Neumann himself. In it he came to Columbia University to receive the honorary title of Professor of arts in the evening his "championship belt" Neumann won without a single shot.

Author: Andrew Zimoglyadov