Stephen Holland says "I like the drama of Sports the way you see
it on a TV closeup - like a slow motion replay. I like to freeze-frame
the image and display it in everone's living room." Capturing the
fury, emotion and drama of sports is what Stephen Holland does best.
Being trained in fine art, he brings classical form to this universal
subject. His paintings, lithographs and serigraphs are in private
and corporate collections around the world including the Staples
Center Downtown Los Angeles.
Although Holland has painted hundreds of sports paintings for commissions,
lithographs, serigraphs and commercial ventures, he is best known
for his magnificent portrait of the 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 Ali'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 painter, 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 athlete experience. None 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 Stephen 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
His talent and contribution to the field of art and sports received
national recognition last year 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 Nelle in their home/studio
in Southern California.
artist's available pieces here.