On January 17 of this year, boxing legend Muhammad Ali would have celebrated his 80th birthday. This is reason enough to pay homage to the exceptional athlete with an exhibition at the CAMERA WORK Virtual Gallery. Around 20 works, some of them large-format, by renowned photographers, reflect the unique career of the icon of an enTre generation—including never-before-seen portraits by Magnum photographer Thomas Hoepker.
CARL FISCHER: Muhammad Ali New York, 1967
Cassius Clay, who changed his name to Muhammad Ali in 1964, demonstrated instinct not only as an athlete. He created a provocative, self-confident figure who soon made a name for himself in the media with his striking slogans: as the best boxing athlete of all time. In doing so, he not only made a significant mark on the sport, but also American society and pop culture.
THOMAS HOEPKER: Muhammad Ali, Jumping Chicago, 1966
Photographers like Thomas Hoepker, Neil Leifer, and Steve Schapiro have accompanied the legend on his way. They have captured the excitement, the epic scale of the Bailes, and Ali's aura for eternity. In addition to world-renowned photographs by Elliot Erwin, David LaChapelle, Mark Seliger, and Albert Watson, Carl Fischer's legendary portrait of Ali is also in the exhibition. He stages the athlete, hit by arrows from a bow, like Saint Sebastian, thus also showcasing his martyrdom as an athlete.
In addition, the exhibition features work by Thomas Hoepker, who has worked with Muhammad Ali on several occasions since the 1960 Olympics. In his photographs, Hoepker paints an ambivalent picture of the athlete: the always good-humored, self-confident Ali is contrasted with the tough, dogged fighter. Ali was one of the first athletes to surround himself with artists as a pop culture figure, becoming an art object and a beacon of hope for an entire generation.
CAMERA WORK Virtual Gallery
from January 17 to March 3, 2022
CAMERA WORK was founded in 1997 in Berlin and has since become one of the world’s leading galleries for photography. With its historically coined name, the gallery has always followed the philosophy to represent, next to world-famous classic photographers such as Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Patrick Demarchelier, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Man Ray, Herb Riis, and Albert Watson, young and contemporary artists, to manifest the posiTon of photography as an independent genre within visual art, and to give room to new posiTons. CAMERA WORK exclusively represents many prominent contemporary artists in Germany, Europe, and around the world such as David Yarrow, David Drebin, Jean-Baptiste Huynh, Russell James, Robert Polidori, Eugenio Recuenco, Marin Schoeller, and Christian Tagliavini. CAMERA WORK regularly participates in major international photography and art fairs such as Art Central Hong Kong, Zona Maco in Mexico City, Paris Photo, and Photo London.
In 2020, CAMERA WORK established the CAMERA WORK Virtual Gallery—an innovative, high-quality online gallery where art collectors and art lovers can experience exclusive exhibitions.