Kalish, 38 based the sculpture off of Michael Brennan’s late 1970’s photo of Ali. The idea was borne from a fan letter from Ali’s wife, Yolanda. She expressed her admiration for his license plate sculpture. So an idea was born and Kalish teamed up with Oyler Wu Collaborative, so they can assist in the modeling of the installation.
The collaboration took about eight months to complete. And it costed “hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars.” None of which was contributed by the Ali family. It was self-funded artwork that is part of a licensing agreement signed between Kalish and Muhammad Ali Enterprises.