Mike Tyson has been in the news a great deal lately, mostly pertaining to his admission of a continuing and very bad drug addiction, which he has said could get him killed. Still, he has also gotten involved with boxing promotion, forming Iron Mike Productions. Now some more good news, as the gym for Iron Mike fighters has been equipped with some fantastic new artwork depicting Tyson.
Artist Joe Lurato gained attention a few years back with artwork of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady for a segment titled, “Quarterbacks of the Decade.” Lurato’s artwork has been featured on NFL broadcasts and Tyson has kept his eyes out for it because, in addition to being passionate about sports, Mike and his Iron Mike Productions business partner, Garry Jonas, are also passionate about art.
“Not only is this unique artwork beautiful,” Tyson said, “it is also inspirational for our fighters as they train in the Iron Mike gym. Our goal is to give all our fighters everything they need to be their very best, physically and mentally, and this serves as another example of Iron Mike Productions’ commitment to excellence on their behalf.”
Tyson and Jonas, CEO of Iron Mike Productions, immediately thought of Lurato when they were building their state-of-the-art training facility in Deerfield Beach, Florida. They commissioned both Lurato and fellow New York stencil artist, Logan Hicks, to create amazing, larger-than life wall murals to inspire and provoke their fighters, capturing the range of emotions that happen inside the ring.
“The photo-realistic images have depth and move with the eye,” Jonas explained. “They follow the fighters throughout the space, inspiring them and reminding them of why they are here and what they are training for.”
Using layers of hand-cut paper, spray paint and stencils, both artists worked round-the-clock over one weekend to create an energized series of mixed-medium murals that echo the raw dynamism of the Iron Mike gym and capture the hope, struggle and desire that are at the heart of every fighter here.
The artists deliberately incorporated elements of urban street art to make the murals both visceral and refined to directly reflect the raw, gritty talent each of the fighters started with as they work to refine their skills and transform themselves into champions.
Lurato’s work has also been featured on ESPN as part of the “Art of Basketball” project, created by Billi Kid and Public Works Department, an organization that promotes street and graffiti artists and their work. Licensed by the NBA, the organization features a growing collection of NBA-themed original street artwork that tours the country. Lurato’s contribution focused on the 2012 championship-winning Miami Heat.
To learn more about Joe Lurato and Logan Hicks, check out their work at joeiurato.com and loganhicks.com.