My friend Todd Selby shot legendary art director George Lois for TheSelby.com. George Lois is one of subjects of Art & Copy, an excellent documentary about advertising (that tells the story of some of the real world MAD MEN), he’s wildly egocentric but he has the body of work to back it up. Among his exotic collection of art and artifacts from around the world is this photograph of Muhammad Ali as Saint Sebastian for the April 1968 cover of Esquire magazine. Considered one of the best, and most controversial magazine covers of all time, the image was more than just a pretty picture or shock photography, it was symbolic of Ali’s persecution for his refusal to fight in Vietnam and immediately became an icon for the anti-war movement.
This image was instrumental in changing the public opinion about the war, in ending the war, and it makes me wonder if any image or piece of media today has that much power. Out visual gluttony seems to feed our apathy.