Iron Works--A 25th Anniversary Artistic Time Capsule of a Rising Mike Tyson, 1986. "Fear is your best friend or your worst enemy," Mike Tyson told artist Greg Spalenka, parroting the mantra of his recently deceased trainer and guardian Cus D'Amato. "It's like fire. If you can control it, it can cook for you; it can heat your house. If you can't control it, it will burn everything around you and destroy you." When Spalenka visited Tyson's Catskill, New York gym for ten days in the summer of 1986 to study the rising boxing phenom for an illustration assignment for Sports Illustrated, he found the twenty-year old Tyson a tightly muscled two hundred twenty pound assembly of contradictions, both gentle and destructive, furious and melancholy. Initially expecting the project to be little more than a visual study of a world class athlete, Spalenka quickly realized that Tyson was far more compelling than that, and this unique and remarkable collection of art and artifacts captures the essence of the youngest ever Heavyweight Champion with remarkable artistic and emotional sensitivity.

    The time capsule includes:

    1) Fifteen pieces of signed (by the artist) artwork, five life size. These include many sketches of Tyson, trainer Kevin Rooney, and the gym itself and the equipment within. Spalenka occasionally traced Tyson on huge pieces of paper to create perfectly scaled images. All art is flapped with archival paper and repositionable tape. The painting Power and Science (40x53") is framed.

    2) Sixty-two original one-of-a-kind Polaroid photographs.

    3) Three microcassette recordings of interviews with Tyson, Rooney and aspiring female boxer at Tyson's gym Nadia Hujtyn. This includes almost ninety minutes of live coaching sessions between Rooney and Tyson during sparring.

    4) Five original copies of Print magazine that include the Iron Works illustrative journalism project.

    The successful bidder will also have the opportunity for a one to two hour conversation with the artist either by telephone, Skype or in person in the Los Angeles area. Third party shipping required.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2011
    10th-11th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
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