Rare works by boxer Muhammad Ali, considered one of the greatest sportsmen of all time, are set to hit the auction block next month.
The auction “TCM presents… It’s a Knockout!” will take place on October 5 at Bonhams New York. It will feature 24 works from the collection of Rodney Hilton Brown, owner of Hilton Fine Arts Ltd. and a personal friend of Ali.
Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, had an artistic spark since childhood. His father Cassius Clay Sr. was a professional artist, painting anything from church altarpieces to billboards. However, it wasn’t until meeting LeRoy Neiman that Ali rekindled his passion for art. Neiman used to draw portraits of Ali’s fights, and Ali soon started creating art alongside Neiman. On some occasions, he published a few of his artworks to the general public. Perhaps the most famous was the ‘Let My People Go’ (1979). Presented at the UN in front of a committee against Apartheid, Ali made scathing criticism of the racism in South Africa. Most of Ali’s works were a critique of racism in the US and the world.
The auction will feature this iconic work by Muhammad Ali, as well as ‘Sting Like A Bee’ (1978). It will also feature some rare, unseen work by the boxer, like ‘The Two Religions’ (1967), ‘My Trial’ (1967), and ‘Guiding Light’ (1978). The auction will also features some works by Cassius Clay Sr., as well as a bronze cast of Muhammad Ali’s fist. The items are expected to fetch between $1000-60,000.