Neil Leifer: For the Love of the Game
Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery
January 29 through March 26, 2011
Artist reception is Saturday, January 29, from 5 to 8 p.m.
“… I found myself reflecting on a time when the game itself was truly the highlight of Super Sunday.” -Neil Leifer
Super Bowl Sunday now is certainly not what it was in the beginning. In 1967, when the Green Bay Packers played the Kansas City Chiefs in the first Super Bowl, there were only 2 players from each team that met in the center of the expansive playing field for a simple coin toss.
Now it is the “World Championship”, a week of sports madness playing up to the ultimate showdown of million dollar players sporting high-tech gear that has evolved from a simple set of light helmets, shoes and pads. The linebackers are heavier, stronger. The game is more brutal. Half Time has become star-studded and over-the-top.
Thanks to Neil Leifer we have a great record of Pro-football since his first photographs taken at the NFL Championship Game January 15, 1958. On this day, his birthday, he witnessed what Sports Illustrated called, “the greatest game ever played” between the Colts and the Giants.
Since then, Leifer has given us an extensive library of images of the heroes of Basketball, Baseball, Football, Boxing, Tennis, Golf, Horse Racing and Olympic sports. Many of these photographs graced the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Who can forget that photograph of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston in 1965 after he knocked him out. You can see that Ali has a heroic stance, like a lion over his victim. You can sense his immediate elation of the win.
Leifer was there for the first World Series at Yankee Stadium in 1961. It was the Cincinnati Reds playing the Yankees.
Basketball history has been dramatically covered by Leifer including the super heroes Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.
With his incredible archive of images, we can remember the great games of history, the devastating losses and the astounding victories.
PDNB Gallery is very honored to host this exhibition of Neil Leifer’s photographs in conjunction with the Super Bowl celebration in Dallas / Fort Worth.
This exhibition is presented by Sports Illustrated.