Muhammad Ali & Mike Tyson Caricatures

Editorial illustration of Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali.

"The Mouth That Roared"
One of the things I discovered while going through my traditional painted illustrations from 1983 to 1996 is how many caricatures I completed. I was on this "kick" where I wanted to be different, so instead of putting huge heads on small bodies I tried putting tiny heads in huge bodies. The effect was interesting and made its own kind of statement. I was looking at the work of illustrators like Ralph Steadman and Al Hirschfeld at the time and wanted to push the boundaries with exaggeration. 

Mike Tyson was at the top of his form at the time and reminded me of Mohammed Ali with his bravado and tough talk. I decide to combine caricatures of both in one illustration with Ali being crushed like a puppet in Tyson's hand.
Detail of Mike Tyson.
Painted in 1990, I titled this illustration, "The Mouth That Roared." Of course I had no idea how Tyson's career would evolve so the title might have been more prescient than I realized at the time. I actually forgot this title until 2013 when I lifted the matte to find the words written on the board as a message to myself. Its been 23 years since I painted this work, but the message was still received and the title still fits.
Detail of Boxer Muhammad Ali
I still love this little rendition of Mohammed Ali in the lower part of the Mike Tyson caricature. I had to change the expression in the eyes a bit to get the right effect but he was so animated and so extensively photographed that it was not hard to get the right look.
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