Frank Mullins (1924-1978) was a regular contributing artist to Sports Illustrated in the mid to late 1960's and his unique style helped to define the look and energy of the magazine during this time period. His painting of fighter, Sonny Liston for one of the covers, showcases his great talent and style.
With a minimalist feel, lots of white space and perfectly placed brush strokes, Mullins conveys Liston's power and aggressive energy during a practice sparring session. Amazingly, with very little body detail other than the fighter's arms and neck, Mullin's masterfully conveys Liston's powerful stance and intensity. The facial features, flanked by protective headgear give the feel of a Samurai warrior, ready for battle.
Mullins work is a true part of sports artwork history and his style and renderings helped to define the energy and competition of sports in the 1960's.