Muhammad Ali Fist by Andy Warhol
Title: Muhammad Ali 181
Medium: Screenprint on Strathmore Bristol wove paper.
Size: 40″ x 30″
Edition: Edition of 150. Portfolio of four.
Andy Warhol created Muhammad Ali 181 in 1978 for his portfolio of 4 screenprints featuring the famous boxer. While Warhol himself was not a fan of sports, he was fascinated with celebrity and the idolization of famous athletes like Ali. The image is based on poloroid photos Warhol captured of the boxer, highlighting Ali’s poise, concentration, and physicality, all of which contributed to his international celebrity. This image excludes Ali’s facial features, focusing instead on one of the highly recognizable tools of the boxer's trade: his fist. Emblematic not only of the athlete’s strength and life force, Ali's fists also symbolize his unique identity. Warhol sets the image against a deep blue background, using black outlines and blue and brown overlay to accent the sleek curvature of the boxer’s primary tool. Andy Warhol’s prints of Muhammad Ali exemplify the pop artist’s take on portraiture and obsession with fame and celebrity.