1,300 Speed Bags Make Muhammad Ali Sculpture (5 pics)

Coming to Nokia Plaza L.A. Live in Los Angeles on March 25, 2011 is a new, one-of-a-kind sculpture that pays homage to one of the greatest boxers of all-time, Muhammad Ali. Made up of 1,300 boxing speed bags, the piece stands 22 feet high and is held up by 5 miles of stainless steel cable and 2 miles of aluminum tubing. (Did we tell you it took three years to complete?) Internationally acclaimed artist and sculptor Michael Kalish is the man behind reALIze, the new conceptual and thought-provoking monument. Kalish came up with the project and then worked with architectural firm Oyler Wu to design it.

The idea for reALIze came about when Lonnie Ali, and her husband Muhammad, saw a tv segment about Kalish's pop-art license plates. Intrigued by his work, Mrs. Ali reached out to Kalish, which led to the artist creating a piece for the Ali family. That first sculpture led to a lasting relationship between Kalish and the Alis and ultimately inspired reALIze, an installation created to be as mythical as the boxer himself.

Of course, the coolest part is that if you look from all angles but straight on, it’ll just look like a boxing-inspired rainstorm. Stand at just the right place and you’ll see a photorealistic vision of Muhammad Ali appear right in front of your very eyes!

"I love turning ordinary objects into extraordinary works of art," said Kalish. "This is an opportunity of a lifetime and I'm honored I could create this monument to pay homage to such an incredible man."

"We are honored to have been asked to be the very first location to exhibit this one-of-a-kind tribute to one of the world's most iconic figures," said Scott Hanley, Vice President, Events, AEG." Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE will provide the perfect backdrop for the public to experience this incredible and most unique work of art."

Michael Kalish, the artist

The unveiling of reALIze is scheduled for March 25, 2011 at Nokia Plaza and it will remain on display until April 9, 2011. It will then travel around the country with locations TBD. Until then, you can see a sneak peek promo here.

Michael Kalish’s website and ReALIze website

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