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‘Larry Fink: The Boxing Photographs’ Review: A Ringside View of Humanity

Going back to Smokin’ Joe Frazier and beyond, boxers from the city of Brotherly Love have been renowned for their truculence and toughness. And of course, there was “Rocky.”

Therefore, it is fitting that this brilliantly gritty exhibit, “Larry Fink: The Boxing Photographs,” would appear at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Boxing is black and white, and so are the approximately 80 prints in this show that was organized by Peter Barberie, the museum’s photography curator.

Mr. Fink (b. 1941) was not originally a boxing photographer. However, in 1986 he was commissioned to tote his cameras to the Catskills in New York to photograph Jimmy Jacobs, manager of Mike Tyson. Quickly captivated by the circus of violence, he would continue documenting it through 2004. Mr. Fink explained his fascination with the sport in the introduction to “Boxing: Photographs by Larry Fink” (1997): “I found a world so rife with anecdote and pathos, so full of contradictions as to be a world within itself.”

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