Gordon Parks - Muhammed Ali - 20th Century - Print in Colors
GORDON PARKS (1912-2006)
9" x 7" (Image Size)
Print in Colors Print
Of all the portraits taken by Parks, perhaps none is as stunning as the close-up of Muhammad Ali, emerging mottled with sweat from a shadowy background. The essay this image introduced appeared in the September 9, 1966, issue of Life, at a time when Ali was embattled both in and out of the boxing ring.
Parks met Ali in Miami, where the champ was training. Accompanying him to London for his next ﬁght, Parks crafted a psychological portrait of Ali that most Americans might never have imagined. While Ali came off as supremely conﬁdent, even arrogant, in his public appearances, Parks bore witness to his courtesy and charm. “The Redemption of the Champion” sought to rehabilitate Ali’s image by showing the human side of the smooth-talking ﬂeet-footed boxer. It contained anecdotes about Ali’s patience, and quotations that revealed his concern for the opinion of others, especially the African-Americans who lionized him.