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GOAT: A Tribute to Muhammad Aliby Benedikt Taschen and Muhammad Ali and Jeff Koons
Synopses & Reviews
Muhammad Ali is one of the most remarkable personalities of our time and the greatest sportsman ever to walk the earth. To honor this living legend, Taschen has created a work that is epic in scale and as unique and vibrant as the man himself. A worthy tribute to his life should reflect the scale of his achievements, and GOAT is fully up to that task.
Four years in the making, and the most comprehensive study of Ali to date, GOAT tips the scales at 34 kgs (75 lbs) and is 50 cm x 50 cm (20" x 20") in size. Nearly 800 pages of archival and original photographs, graphic artwork, articles and essays — many of them previously unpublished — chronicle six decades of his life in stunning detail. To cap it all, the project takes place with the participation of Ali himself and those members of his inner circle who have been closest to him over the years: from managers and key cornermen to friends, family and children; from spiritual and other advisers to broadcasters, essayists and journalists.
Motivating this endeavor is the conviction that Ali is not just a figure from the past, but one whose influence even today pervades everyday popular culture. The merest glance at the world of sports and music, for example, reveals his psychic DNA on everything from the lyrics and style of rap music to the way sports figures represent themselves. More significantly, his actions outside of the boxing ring still speak even louder than the verbal outrageousness of his pre-fight spectacles. He is a man who stood by his convictions, and took a highly unpopular stance at the peak of his career in a country not yet ready for radical change. He risked everything — his title, his livelihood, and his status — and in the process emerged as a man of principle and indeed, a hero for all time. No stone has been left unturned in telling this remarkable story: the book features written contributions from hundreds of writers and photographers, as well as over 3,000 photographs of Ali's dazzling life. Plus Ali's own insights, writings and drawings, and reproductions of fight posters and classic memorabilia.
After the enormous success of Helmut Newton's megabook, SUMO, publisher Benedikt Taschen felt that his next challenge lay not only in creating a work that had multiple sources and extraordinary photography, but one where the emphasis on the written word, narrative and research would be on par with that of the most comprehensive literary biographies. In short, matching meticulously crafted prose with incredible color and black-and-white photography. In addition, new work — commissioned from artist Jeff Koons — gives the Ali mythology a 21st-century edge and an entirely contemporary context.
GOAT will come in two versions. The "Champ's Edition," limited to the first 1,000 copies, features an original companion art piece by Jeff Koons and four silver gelatin prints by Howard L. Bingham, signed by the photographer and Ali himself. The remaining 9,000 copies, the "Collector's Edition," come with a photo-litho made by Jeff Koons depicting Koon's art piece created for the "Champ's Edition". All 10,000 copies are individually signed by Muhammad Ali and Jeff Koons. Currently, Powell's is offering the "Collector's Edition."
"This is not a book. This is a monument on paper, the most megalomaniacal book in the history of civilization, the biggest, heaviest, most radiant thing ever printed — Ali's last victory." Der Spiegel (Hamburg, Germany)
Muhammad Ali is one of the most remarkable personalities of our time and the greatest sportsman to ever walk the earth. To honour this living legend, Taschen has created a work that is both epic in scale and just as unique and vibrant as the man himself. Four years in the making and the most comprehensive look at Ali to date featuring 800 pages of archival and original photographs, graphic artwork and articles and essays — many of them previously unpublished. To cap it all the project takes place with the participation of Ali himself and those members of his inner circle who have been closest to him. Limited print run of 10,000 copies, individually signed by Muhammad Ali.
The undisputed heavyweight champion of boxing books, at a knockout price
"This is not a book. This is a monument on paper, the most megalomaniacal book in the history of civilization, the biggest, heaviest, most radiant thing ever printed - Ali's last victory." — Der Spiegel, Hamburg
Universally acclaimed as the greatest sportsman of the modern era, someone who transformed not just his sport but the cultural status of athletes everywhere, Muhammad Ali still towers over the "sweet science" of boxing, more than three decades after announcing his retirement. Acknowledged as one of the most remarkable personalities of our time and undoubtedly the most popular sporting personality ever, his status as the finest heavyweight champion to grace a ring is beyond all doubt.
To honor this living legend, TASCHEN created an epic book, as powerful and vibrant as the man himself, a phenomenal artefact that reflects the scale of Ali's many achievements: GREATEST OF ALL TIME - A TRIBUTE TO MUHAMMAD ALI is a book with the power, courage, depth, creativity and dazzling energy of its extraordinary subject. Containing thousands of images—photography, art and memorabilia—from over 100 photographers and artists, 2 gatefold sequences, original essays as well as the best interviews and writing of the last five decades round off the picture of the Champ, this monumental publication is finally available in an affordable, unlimited edition.
Today, seven years after the publication of GOAT, we are proud to publish this affordable edition at last so that Ali’s genius can be shared with the widest possible audience. Smaller in size but not in impact, this new version brings the people’s champ to the people.
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