The Press Preview: Wednesday 16th January 2019 at 4.00pm
The word icon is used rather too liberally today, there are but a few who truly deserve that epithet. Muhammad Ali is certainly one of them. A boxer whose achievements and influence transcended the worlds of sport and celebrity and who became universally revered.
The public ‘Ali’ was the three times world heavyweight champion and self-proclaimed ‘the greatest’. He was never less than entertaining as a fighter, his pre-fight insults to opponents delivered in rhyming couplets, his unorthodox fighting style, and his homespun inspirational views on life.
What is less known is that for the last 25 years of his life, despite suffering increasing physical disability associated with Parkinson’s Syndrome, Ali worked tirelessly for the humanitarian causes he believed in, including relief of poverty, education, adoption, race relations and encouraging people of all races to understand and respect each other. He helped to provide 232 million meals to those suffering food poverty; hand delivered food and medical supplies to needy communities in Asia, Africa and North and South America. He was the International Ambassador of Jubilee 2000, a global organisation dedicated to relieving debt in developing nations.
He raised millions of dollars for research into Parkinson’s Disease. He was a peace campaigner since the 1960’s when he refused to fight in Vietnam. In the 1960’s he worked alongside black activists to try to end race discrimination in the US and he was an Ambassador for race relations under Obama’s administration. Former President Jimmy Carter called Ali “Mr International Friendship’ and in 2005 Ali was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Amnesty International gave him their Lifetime Achievement Award and the Secretary General of the UN bestowed him with the citation United Nations Messenger of Peace.
The exhibition is being co-curated by Curator and Photographer Christina Jansen, and Gallerist Karina Phillips. In 1986, Christina spent two weeks with Ali and her image, ‘Ali Pointing’ appears in the documentary feature film released by Passion Pictures ‘I AM ALI’. For the past few years Christina has been working on this exhibition which brings together leading world artists and photographers. After first presenting the project at the 2012 London Olympics in the Gallery at the famous Foreman Smokehouse, the exhibition is now to transfer to central London.
The list of participants boasts some of the world’s best-known photographers and renowned artists:
Photographers: Neil Leiffer/Ken Regan/Terry O’Neill/Chris Smith/Roberto Robanne/Sonia Katchian /Neil Kenlock/Graham Wood/Sally Soames/Christina Jansen
Artists: Chris Gollon/Ron Chadwick/Rahamann Ali/Matt Small
The curators will also be working with Boxing Futures, a wonderful charity that aims to support young people who are either involved or at risk of becoming involved with the youth justice system, using the medium of sport. The exhibition will feature an evening for the charity, and a percentage from the sales of selected artworks will be donated to their work.
Notes to Editors:
1. The Press Preview: Wednesday 16th January 2019 at 4.00pm
2. Gallery DIFFERENT is a contemporary fine art Gallery in the vibrant Gallery District of Fitzrovia. The gallery has a dynamic schedule of exhibitions featuring British and International contemporary artists which includes global names and exciting emerging talent. The gallery specialises in the representation of artwork that exhibits a discernible concept and is of exceptional quality.
3. Christina Jansen is a London based photographer who has photographed many celebrities. Her portfolio of portraiture is extensive. She has also illustrated books and photographic commissions have covered fashion stills, feature films, album covers, corporate portraiture, travel, food and interiors.
4. Boxing Futures was established in 2013 by CEO Anthony York, to realise his ambition to provide an alternative outlet to young people involved, or at risk of becoming involved, in the youth justice system. Anthony believed that improving both the physical and mental wellbeing of such young people would develop their ability to address some of the obstacles they faced in life and reduce anti-social behaviour.
5. The exhibition will have the support of H Foreman & Son’s Smokehouse, the last of the many smokehouses that used to inhabit London’s East End, and supplier to London’s foremost culinary establishments.
For further information, interviews and high-resolution images or to register to attend the Press Preview on Wednesday 16th January 2019, please contact:
Gallery Different, 14 Percy Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1DR
Tel: 0207 637 3775 Mobile: 07940 525055