With the passing of Muhammad Ali on June 3, 2016, the Ali Center, based in Louisville USA, honoured what would have been his 75th birthday with a special exhibition of tribute works.
The exhibition, aptly titled Inspiration to Action: An Art Tribute to Muhammad Ali, allowed the Center to showcase unique art pieces that are in their collection. There were a variety of art pieces in mediums from oils and acrylic to cut and dyed concrete paver, all creative pieces inspired by 'The Greatest'.
I took this original painting (which sold within a few minutes of sharing) on as a challenge to capture a Portrait of the Muhammad that isn't often represented within Contemporary Arts. Despite never being able to meet Mr. Ali face to face, or watch any of his bouts live, I have been able to watch hours and hours of footage of Ali in interviews, at home, in press conferences, and have not only been amazed by his confidence, but by his verbal fluency which always shines through.
The original Oil Portrait of Muhammad Ali measured 40 by 40 inches. I purposefully chose a photo reference from the late Mr. Stewart, who was able to photograph Mr. Ali over a period of 3 mornings, where he was invited into the home of Mr. Ali, sharing intimate moments. I believe Mr. Ali can never truly be captured on canvas, but this is my attempt.
There are Limited Edition Prints of this piece still available, numbered and signed by myself.