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The Art of Boxing

This a piece that I did for the BBC. Thaddine Swift Eagle Johnson dances between the worlds of boxing and art. Johnson, a Blackfoot Native American who hails from Queens, New York now paints and trains in the mountain town of Durango, Colorado. This championship featherweight boxer looks to her athletics and painting to spread a positive message to communities through out the US.

From the urban landscape of Queens, Johnson witnessed a world which at times were very ugly. Athletics gave Johnson an outlet from the neighborhood violence and substance abuse. Originally, kickboxing was Johnson’s first widely successful sport. After winning several AAU Karate Championships, she transferred her sport to boxing because kickboxing was not approved as an Olympic sport for women. As a boxer, Johnson has won three amateur Golden Gloves championships. Now as a professional, she holds titles with the WIBU International, WIBA International, NABC, WIBC International, WPBA International, and GBU Intercontinental. Through the fog of boxing bureaucracy and promoters, Johnson is eagerly waiting to have a bout that will clearly define her as the women’s world champion.

While Johnson trains with iconic boxers such as Roger Mayweather for a future date to contend for the world championship, in her off time from sport, Johnson a self taught artist works on her paintings that are Picasso-esque. Her themes regularly deal with gender, race and politics. In addition, Johnson works with teenagers at risk in the gym to try and steer them away from violence and drugs.

Shot on the Panasonic GH2 and Panasonic HVX 200
Aquamotion 2 and Quantum 100 were used for the patches.

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