i am not original at all when it comes to sports heroes. my guess is that my hero, mohammad ali, is probably the most common hero amongst athletes. also i do not think i am at all original when i say that i like andy warhol’s paintings and prints.
these two are most commonly appreciated and the reason why it is so hard not to put them up on a pedestal is because they are so perfect.
mohammad ali is a super uber athlete. before him boxing was nothing. after him boxing is everything. ali is also an artist (i love his poetry which inspires me so much), his media manipulations and ability to be the super strong individual who fights against an entire culture.
many forget that in the times when john and bobby kennedy and martin luther king were assassinated maybe because of their opposition to the vietnam war, someone like mohammad ali was openly against it. it takes a lot of guts to stand by your principles as much as he did. he went from being adored to being hated in a millisecond and he did not care. his goal was his principle, not to please others.
andy warhol was also a revolutionary, not as much as ali, but he was doing his best, as much as art was allowing him to do. art does not tolerate as much as sports do (art is one of the most conservative cultures in the history of humanity due to its basis for financial profits: lots of talking needs to be done to convince people to pay for products million times more than their real raw material value is). but andy warhol made some of the most beautiful things and no one in the world can disagree with this. he had a talent to create prettiness.
i am happy that while visiting a very boring andy warhol show in amsterdam i had the opportunity to buy an andy warhol print of mohammad ali. this will stand next to my race numbers, text posters and cape town aerial photo in my living room.
such a good way to combine two of them.
btw both of them changed their names. andy warhol changed it because he felt his name sounds stupid while mohammad ali changed it to fulfil his conversion to islam. andy and ali seam like complete opposites when it comes to confidence.