GOATGreatest of all Time - A Tribute to Muhammad Ali

Published by Taschen
With a Special Edition by Jeff Koons

Galerie Max Hetzler Holzmarktstraße 15-18 / S-Bahnbogen 48 Berlin - Mitte


January 17 to February 14, 2004


Galerie Max Hetzler proudly presents the new artist´s edition of "GOAT – Greatest of All Time - A Tribute to Muhammad Ali" published by Taschen


GOAT - A Tribute to Muhammad Ali
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 – GREATEST OF ALL TIME 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 Nearly 800 pages of archival and original photographs, graphic artwork, articles and essays - many of them previously unpublished - chronicle six decades of his life in stunning detail.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.


Every production detail has been meticulously managed as have the launch activities for the book itself - starting with the Frankfurt Book Fair, where two six-meter (20-foot) billboards showed powerful Neil Leifer images of Ali sat at the center of an enormous exhibition area.


Beyond this a boxing ring and seating space replicated the exact décor, ambience and lighting of the famous Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston title clash of February 25, 1964, when the 22-year-old Ali won his first heavyweight title. Further international launches, including Art Basel Miami Beach in December 2003, have taken the unique experience to audiences everywhere.


But why the enormous investment (of over 10 million Euros) on a project about Ali, especially after we've read all the books, seen the movies, watched some of the great documentaries and, after all these years, grown familiar with his story? Benedikt Taschen says, "We wanted to turn the logic of a conventional biography on its head. In this book, we lead from the photography, but even through the detailed narrative captions, we draw the reader into the written story and the texts. The end result is a structured narrative that's like the most richly detailed screenplay you can imagine. You could make a film straight from the book. And so the result is an experience that works on many levels, depending upon your mood, sensibilities and even the time available to you to taste the riches in this amazing monument."


The Collector's Edition: No. 1,001-10,000

* The "Collector's Edition" shows Ali's torso with pink lettering.


* Limited to 9,000 individually numbered copies, each one signed by Muhammad Ali and Jeff Koons.


* Jeff Koons has created a photo-litho for the "Collector's Edition," to be seen at www.taschen-goat.com


* Over 3,000 images - photographs, art and memorabilia, much of it published for the first time - from over 150 photographers and artists. Original essays and the best interviews and writings on the Champ of the last five decades, from hundreds of writers, totaling nearly 600,000 words.


* XXL Format: 792 pages, including two gatefold sequences measuring 200 cm x 50 cm (80" x 20") and nine gold-metallic double-page spreads printed in silkscreen, opening each chapter. Measuring 50 cm x 50 cm (20" x 20"), GOAT tips the scales at 34 kgs (75 lbs).


* Each copy comes in a silk-covered box illustrated with Neil Leifer's iconic 1966 photo, "Ali vs Williams."


* Bound by the official bindery for the Vatican, in pink leather, the color of Ali's first Cadillac. The bindery specializing in the most elaborate and oversized editions of the Koran and the Bible enforces the strictest standards of quality control and only several hundred copies can be assembled per week.


* Utilizing state-of-the-art digital technology, no expense has been spared to restore the original photographic materials to the highest possible standards. The results of this effort create unparalleled intensity and range in the colors, and exquisite tone and density within the duotone images.


* Eight-color printing on Galaxi Keramik 200 gsm semi-matte paper with gloss varnish on all images.


* Prioritized delivery of GOAT commences in the Spring of 2004. As copies are completed they will ship to customers in the order in which the pre-orders were received.


"Greatest Of All Time" (GOAT) is a unique event in publishing. GOAT is limited to 10,000 individually numbered copies, has 792 pages, is 50 cm x 50 cm (20" x 20") and weighs 34 kgs (75 lbs). Each copy has been hand-signed by Muhammad Ali and Jeff Koons.


GOAT will come in two versions: the Collector´s Edition as described above and the Champ's Edition which is limited to the first 1,000 copies and features a special edition by Jeff Koons as well as four silver gelatin prints by Howard L. Bingham, all signed by the photographer and Ali himself.

For the Champ's Edition Jeff Koons created a ready-made: A stool with an inflatable plastic car tyre around it. The book GOAT is sitting on top of the stool. Above the stool an inflatable dolphin " floats " in the air.

For pictures of the Champ´s edition please view our website by using the following direct link:




The retail price for the Collector's Edition ( No. 1,001-10,000 ) is € 3.000,-


The retail price for the Champ's Edition (first 1,000 copies ) is € 7.500,-


For further information please contact the gallery under 030 240 456 30

Gallery opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11am – 6pm.