Out of thin air comes a gift to the city of Chicago, a photographic celebration of one of the greatest athletes of all time. Chicagoans, basketball fans and sneaker heads of all ages can relive Michael Jordan’s eminence through the photography of Walter Iooss in Open Air, a free outdoor exhibition on display at the Field Museum. Sponsored by Nike in collaboration with the Chicago Park District, Open Air features 30 of Iooss’ most iconic images representing 30 years of the Air Jordan brand. Iooss, perhaps the world’s most recognized sports photographer, has shot our generation’s transcendent athletes: Derek Jeter, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tiger Woods and Muhammad Ali to name a few. And then of course there’s His Airness, Michael Jordan, whose prolific career is best encapsulated visually through Iooss’ photos. Jordan is the pinnacle by which every star athlete is measured today, and Iooss was with him through every step (and takeoff) of his literal and figural ascension.
Iooss also had an insider’s perspective of Jordan’s life off the court, publishing never- before-seen portraits alongside thoughts and observations from MJ himself in the 1993 New York Times #1 bestseller Rare Air: Michael on Michael. “I couldn’t take a bad photo of him,” Iooss recalls. “He was always so aware; never flinched. He had an uncanny 360 sense of everything that was going on around him.” On display fromMemorial Day through Labor Day, Open Air is the kind of experience that gives you goosebumps. The significance of these images, coupled with Jordan’s 13 seasons and six championships in Chicago, is history in its highest form. It is a public celebration in a city that bursts with energy and inspiration in summer. Duggal congratulates Walter Iooss, who collaborated with Duggal as we produced durable, direct-to-Dibond, UV-printed pieces optimized for the outdoor Open Air exhibition. Here’s to reliving Michael Jordan’s magnificent career through the work of a truly inspiring photographer.
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