DE LA FUENTE COLLECTION
Lowell Riley was first and foremost a major fan of boxing champion Cassius Clay. Armed with his camera, he stood out among the supporters. He was soon spotted by Herbert Muhammad and hired as the star's official photographer. This was America in the sixties and Cassius Clay was at the height of his career. The artist followed him in the ring and in his daily life. Present for all of the big moments in the champion's life, he was also there for his induction ceremony as part of the Nation of Islam, following which he was to be renamed Muhammad Ali. In short, Lowell Riley took many historic pictures and found complete fulfilment, making a life from his art. Photography was his dream and he was able to realise it with the superstar of boxing. After the champion's death, he was to fondly remember Muhammad Ali as a generous man in private and charismatic in public. "People simply wanted to be around Ali", he confided. Riley had no contract and didn't even know how he would be paid. It mattered little to him as his passion was his lifeblood.