Using tear-shaped punching bags, steel wire and aluminum pipes, internationally renowned artist and sculptor Michael Kalish has created an awe-inspiring monument that pays homage to one of the greatest boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali.
Kalish, who is famous for his license plate portraits, came up with the idea for a complex installation dedicated to Muhammad Ali when he was falling asleep one night, in 2008. He had already met the Ali family, after Lonnie Ali (Muhammad’s wife) saw a report on the artist’s license plate works and commissioned a piece. This led to a long-lasting relationship which eventually inspired the remarkable artwork known as reALIze. But Michael Kalish knew he couldn’t pull off a complicated project like the one he had imagined, so he reached out to architectural firm Oyler Wu, for help.
Made up of 1,300 raindrop-shaped punching bags, 6.5 miles of stainless steel cable and 2,500 pounds of aluminum pipe, reALIze is a monumental 22-foot-high tribute to one of the world’s greatest boxing icons. The coolest thing about this thing is that if you look at it from any side it looks like a whirlwind of hanging punching bags, but if you look at it from a certain point, in the front, you’ll see a clear portrait of Muhammad Ali.
“I love turning ordinary objects into extraordinary works of art. This is an opportunity of a lifetime and I’m honored I could create this monument to pay homage to such an incredible man.” Kalish said about his magnificent work. reALIze will be unveiled on March 25th, at Nokia Plaza L.A. Live, in Los Angeles, where Muhammad Ali himself is expected to make an appearance and hang the last punching bag.