NEW YORK CITY—In celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Rumble in the Jungle, Muhammad Ali Enterprises (MAE) commissioned No Mas, a New York-based apparel and media company, to create Rumblevison, a series of three original animated short films. To explore the legendary fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman and the iconic scene in Zaire, No Mas founder and sport-culture guru Chris Isenberg tapped two fine artists with complementary styles: watercolorist David Rathman and oil painter Jerome Lagarrigue. In conjunction with a viral release, No Mas will also retail the original artwork, prints and T-shirts based on key frames, along with its current collection of licensed reproductions of T-shirts worn by Muhammad Ali during his career.
The animations celebrating Ali’s victory over Foreman went live Friday, Oct. 30 on both the No Mas (www.nomas-nyc.com) and Ali (www.ali.com) websites. No Mas founder Chris Isenberg, ex-journalist and childhood sports maniac, was inspired to start the brand after seeing a 1960s era photo of Muhammad Ali—then Cassius Clay—wearing a T-shirt screen printed with his name in a Coca-Cola like script. This past summer, No Mas became an MAE licensee and released an official reproduction of that Cassius Clay shirt.
“In less than a year I’ve gone from making unauthorized Cassius Clay shirts, to having a license, to getting a commission to commemorate a huge Ali anniversary,” Isenberg says. “The fact that MAE was willing to work with me at all was surprising and wonderful, but them taking a chance on something leaning this far into the fine-art realm impressed me even more.”