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22x28 Muhammad Ali
David O'Keefe Studios

22x28 Muhammad Ali

Regular price $45.00

I grew up loving boxing and Muhammad Ali was my favorite then. He would fight on Friday nights on TV and I would watch him; that was the beginning of me getting into loving fighting.  I remember the first Frazier fight, it was on pay per view and I begged my dad to take me to the movie theater and watch it.  

Of course one of the most famous moments in his career is the iconic image of his second fight with Sonny Liston for the world heavyweight championship (May 25, 1964.) The photo of Liston down on the canvas after Ali’s "phantom punch," is considered by many to be the greatest photo in sports history. My painting - a 24x28 oil on canvas –- captures the angle and feeling of that photo, when Ali stood over Liston and yelled, 'Get up and fight, sucker.'

If you put that photo next to my painting, they don’t look the same at all. The photo is static, there’s no movement to it, I gave a lot more fluid movement to the painting. I also changed the sizes; in the photo Liston is gi-normous, he looks like a whale lying on the canvas because of the distortion of the angle from the photographer’s lens. I made him smaller than life-sized and Ali is big and dominating. 

The Ali painting is totally different than everything else I've done, it's a move toward realism for my art.

It really was an inspirational moment in sports and Ali became such an inspirational character to me and other sports fans. He went on to be one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time, and one of the most beloved American athletes.