Muhammad Ali, the groundbreaking athlete and sociopolitical figure of the twentieth century, is remembered less for his art than for his professional boxing career and activism during the 1960s. However, the son of a church muralist, Ali also showed artistic promise from a young age—in high school, he is said to have had failing grades in all subjects except art and gym. In 1979, Ali produced a set of five prints, “Let My People Go,” commissioned by the World Federation of United Nations Associations in editions of 500. The works are compelling historical artifacts, drawing upon Ali’s time in the ring, his Muslim faith, his relationship with fame, and his work in the Civil Rights Movement.
Muhammad Ali, Under the Sun, 1979. Courtesy of RoGallery.