Muhammad Ali, Neil Leifer, Annie Leibowitz, Harry Benson, William Coupon, and Knockout by Ken Regan with Chris Murray: Round 4

by Chris Murray on June 15, 2016

Muhammad Ali after first round knockout of Sonny Liston during World Heavyweight Title fight at St. Dominic's Arena in Lewiston, Maine on 5/25/1965.  (Item # 1001)Ali stands over Sonny Liston at St. Dominic’s Arena in Lewiston, Maine, on May 25, 1965. © Neil Leifer

Along with Howard Bingham’s photographs of Ali, Govinda Gallery exhibited several other photographers who took terrific photographs of The Greatest. Govinda presented the first exhibition of legendary sports photographer Neil Leifer’s images of Muhammad Ali in 2004. It was a remarkable exhibition and Leifer attended the opening. The exhibition was met with great critical acclaim and Madonna got a few of Leifer’s photographs among other collectors.

It was a landmark moment when Govinda Gallery presented the first exhibition of Annie Leibovitz’s photographs beginning in 1984. That exhibition was also a launch for her first book “Annie Leibovitz: Photographs.” In that exhibition and book were Annie’s photograph of Ali, dressed in black, sprawled out on a red staircase in Chicago.

3 Muhammad Ali, Chicago 1978. © Annie Leibovitz

Harry Benson’s exhibition at Govinda Gallery in 1998 featured his unforgettable black and white photograph of Ali at the 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach depicting Ali in the ring with the Beatles knocking all four of them out with one punch. Ali and the Beatles were the most popular figures of the 60s.

1401x788-ali-beatles5th Street Gym, Miami Beach, FL 1964 © Harry Benson

The great portrait photographer William Coupon’s photograph of Muhammad Ali in 1991 in New York City was part of his first exhibition at Govinda Gallery in 2005. Coupon photographed Ali in front of the classic backdrop that he used to photograph so many world figures, athletes, and creative artists of all kinds.

Ali194Muhammad Ali, New York City, 1991. © William Coupon

But our most enduring tribute to Ali was “Knockout” the coffee table book on boxing featuring Ken Regan’s photographs. I edited both the photographs and the text for that book. I still have the wonderful recordings I made of Ken Regan’s boxing stories when I interviewed him for “Knockout.” The book was published by Insight Editions, the publishing company I co-founded in 2002. “Knockout” is still available through Amazon and Insight Editions.

Knockout-9781933784311Knockout: The Art of Boxing by Ken Regan with Chris Murray (Insight Editions 2007)

Muhammad-Ali-2-Ken-Regan (1)Muhammad Ali with Drew “Bundini” Brown, Yankees Stadium, New York, 1976. © Ken Regan

91_a_1054404cMuhammad Ali and Bob Dylan, Madison Square Garden “Night of the Hurricane” concert, 1975. © Ken Regan

fa4238ee5d6aa199ce08e896113c899cMuhammad Ali training, Deer Lake, PA, 1971 © Ken Regan

We love you Ali. Thanks for being you, thanks for the inspiration, and thanks for the memories.

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