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[ A colorful half-length photograph of a man holding a basketball. He wears black clothing with short curvy black hair and black beard. In the background is a white wall. ]

Andy Warhol

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar , 1978

Artwork Type: Photographs
Medium: Polacolor type 108 on paper
Dimensions: 4 x 3 3/8 in. (10.16 x 8.57 cm)
Accession #: 20082024
Credit: Collection of University Art Museum, University at Albany, State University of New York on behalf of University at Albany Foundation , Gift of © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Related Exhibitions:
Double Play
Andy Warhol: Portraits from the Warhol Photographic Legacy Program
Object Label:
As part of the Athlete Series, Andy Warhol was commissioned by notable 
art collector Richard Weisman to paint portraits of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 
Muhammad Ali, Chris Evert, Rod Gilbert, Dorothy Hamill, Jack Nicklaus, 
Pelé, Tom Seaver, Willie Shoemaker, and O.J. Simpson. Weisman 
wanted to bring the worlds of art and sports together to understand their 
connections and attract new audiences to each area. Each athlete was 
also photographed extensively throughout the sitting process. Warhol 
understood that the landscape of celebrity was changing in America to 
include sports superstars, whose cultural significance was ever growing. 
Abdul-Jabbar embodies this world by inventing the “sky hook” and leading 
the Los Angeles Lakers to multiple NBA championships, but also by 
boycotting the 1968 Olympic Team in response to America’s discriminatory 
treatment of African-Americans. He additionally changed his name from 
Lew Alcindor to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar after converting to Islam, a public 
move that would see him face vast racist and Islamophobic reactions.
Double Play

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (b. 1947)

    Legendary NBA basketball player for the LA Lakers from 1975–1989.


Andy Warhol: Portraits from the Warhol Photographic Legacy Program

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