Muscle Boy is an iconic image by Leonard Freed who was a pioneer in socially conscious photojournalism.
In this photo a boy flexes his muscles for the camera perhaps making a statement about the strength a boy wishes to possess, especially a boy of color. The child is shirtless, beads of sweat collect on his face like a professional boxer who is in the ring to achieve victory. He is a role model for younger children as well as adults, sending the message about just how brave one boy remains in the face of social inequality.
Muscle Boy, Harlem, New York USA 1963 by Leonard Freed is a 19" x 13" photograph in a limited edition of 15. Available: 11/15. Provenance: Freed archive. The photograph is signed verso (back) by the Freed estate, Brigitte Freed (wife of the photographer), and has Freed's copyright stamp verso).
This is the cover of "Black in White America." It is also illustrated in "Leonard Freed: Photographies 1954 - 1990" and in "The Concerned Photographer." W. A. Ewing, N. Herschdorfer, and W. van Sinderen, Worldview, Leonard Freed, Steidl, 2007, p. 125.
Provenance: Freed Estate
Leonard Freed (1929-2006) was an American photographer from Brooklyn, New York. His "Black in White America" series made him known as a documentarian, a social documentary photographer. Freed worked as a freelance photographer from 1961 onwards and as a Magnum photographer Freed traveled widely abroad and, in the US, photographing African Americans (1964-65), events in Israel (1967-68, 1973), and the New York City police department (1972-79). Freed's coverage of the American civil rights movement is well-known as are his photo essays on New York, Italy, Germany, The Kate Series, among others.
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