In this special poster, the undisputed champion of the art of sports pays homage to Muhammad Ali, frequently cited as the one of the most widely-recognized people throughout the world, admired and respected for his accomplishments in the boxing ring and beyond.
Ali’s image derives from the Neiman’s larger-than-life oil painting of the boxer, based on sketches made in 1964, the transition period when then Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali. It was also the time of Ali’s two historic fights with Sonny Liston in which he first took the heavyweight championship from Liston, and then defended his title in a decisive first-round knock-out. This is Ali as he looked at the age of 22, a new champion just coming into his prime. The print bursts with color and vitality and brings to life the Ali who, as was frequently said, “floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee.”
Neiman said, “All of my experiences and observations of Ali are summed up in this portrait. This painting is for me the quintessential, colorful, confident Ali. It shows his fighting face, with that theatrical flair, that is so familiar to the world and epitomizes a career that extended to a public far beyond the boxing ring.
“Muhammad Ali – Athlete of the Century” will be treasured by Neiman collectors and everyone who admires champions.