Fink’s fascination with boxing was borne out of an assignment in 1986 to photograph sportsman Jimmy Jacobs, who was also the manager of the world heavyweight champion at the time. Firing at maximum shutter speed, Fink learned how to move quickly and easily around the boxers, capturing fleeting moments of the agony, glory, shock, and satisfaction involved in amateur and professional bouts. He would continue to document boxers, gyms, and matches around the country through 2004. The works selected for display are from the artist’s intensive eighteen-year study.
The exhibition features a bird’s-eye view of the ring at the Blue Horizon, the legendary boxing gym in Philadelphia that closed in 2010. This famous arena figures prominently in Fink’s series as it was pivotal to how he came to know and relate to the world of boxing. His photographs include close-up images of chiseled bodies: sinewy legs and arms, and muscled shoulders and backs, but also explore the psychological dimensions of the sport, from the hard work of professional training to the intensity of championship matches, to moments of unexpected tenderness and vulnerability.