Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio


Michael and Jessica talk about boxing and photography, and why both arts have endured beyond their heyday. They cover the bouts between Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and Manny Pacquiao; Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston; Neil Leifer and the second Ali-Liston fight; and Mary Ellen Mark (who died on the 50th anniversary of that rematch) and her subjects.

On the undercard, Michael recalls a “pugilistic incident” with a classmate named Mickey, who drew first blood.

Also discussed:

  • George Bellows, Stag at Sharkey’s and Dempsey and Firpo
  • Mayweather-Pacquiao: Kelefa Sanneh in The New Yorker and Carlo Rotella in the Times Magazine
  • Covers by George Lois: Sonny Liston as Santa Claus; Calling a Title Fight; Ali as St. Sebastian. Also, from our archives, Adam Harrison Levy on The Passion of George Lois
  • Joyce Carol Oates, On Boxing
  • Sue Jaye Johnson’s film T-Rex
  • Knockout font
  • Dave Mondy, How Things Break
  • Melissa Harris, Remembering Mary Ellen Mark, 1940-2015
  • Thanks to MOO for sponsoring this episode. Learn more about Moo Letterpress business cards.

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    Image from George Lois's Esquire cover "Last Man in the Ring".

    Posted in: The Observatory

    Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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