To see Stephen Holland at the
edge of the ice, with his camera lens poking through a hole in the during
a Los Angeles King's hockey game, is a familiar sight. In 1989, Holland was named “Official Artist of the
Kings.” His art regularly appears on the covers of the King's “Game
Night” magazine, while Kings' private offices at the Forum look like a
one man show of Stephen Holland's.
Although Holland has painted
hundreds of sports paintings for commissions, lithographs, serigraphs mid
commercial ventures, he is best known for his magnificent portrait of to
World's Greatest Athlete “Muhammad Ali”.
Originally painted for the Silver Anniversary of the Victor Awards
(honoring Ali as “Athlete of the Century”), the painting was soon
selected by Ali's wife as the image to represent him for his 50th birthday
party. Giant posters of the painting flanked the landmark Wiltern
Theatre in Hollywood, as thousands attended All's televised tribute.
A limited edition, fine art lithograph has been issued, each
numbered and signed by Muhammed Ali and Stephen Holland.
What is it that first attracted
Holland to painting sports? As a young pointer, unable to afford live
models, he drew from boxing magazines. There he saw the male form in all
its power and glory, expressed as contemporary gladiator. Reading the
articles in the magazines conveyed to him the determination and hard work
that any athlete must have to be a winner. Holland found it an inspiration
to himself as an artist to put as much discipline, devotion and
determination into his own work, in order to express what both he and the
of this came easy for Holland. As a child he was handicapped, and had to
watch his family and friends play sports, while the steel brace he wore on
his leg even prevented him from attending normal school. But handicaps
often heighten one's sensitivity and talents may develop elsewhere. So Stephan Holland sat and sketched his friends.
Though his mother used to say he began drawing as soon as he could
hold a pencil, his talent actually blossomed while attending a special
high school that devoted half of every day to art studies.
Following that he attended the Art Students League.
The School of Visual Arts, and Pratt Institute, all in New York
His talent and contribution to
the field of art and sports received national recognition when the
American Sport Art Museum and Archives awarded him the honor of 1993
Sports Artist of the Year.
Today Stephen Holland lives
with his wife J'Nelle in their home/studio in Southern California. When
not at various sports arenas, he is often found enjoying his friendship
with foremost sports photographer, Robert Riger (from whose photos many of
Holland's paintings are taken). Currently he is working diligently to
produce a series of celebrity portraits to be printed as limited edition
serigraphs, such as the newly released “Mark McGwire.”
Inc., Beaverton, OR
Waylon Jennings, Nashville, TN
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