About my painting of Jenson Button that got new meaning after Jules Bianchi's crash in Suzuka.
"While the days preceding the race were filled with predictions and forecasts, these sudden dark clouds fitted no weather model. When night fell in Suzuka, a painting that hadn’t changed for years, had a new name, a new narrative."
As published on F1 blog TJ13 on October 11th 2014, my column about my painting of Jenson Button that got new meaning after Jules Bianchi's crash:
Three years ago Formula 1 saw a true classic unfold in the Canadian GP of 2011. A four hour long epic featuring torrential rain in which Jenson Button had collisions with both his teammate and Alonso, a puncture, 5 pit stops and a drive through, was in dead last position with only 30 laps to go, wasn’t even at the back of the field when the Safety Car came in, yet he came back rising through the field to seize the win with half a lap to go.
After the inspiring event, I made this portrait of Jenson Button as a tribute to his win and it carried the simple title of ‘JB’. A few weeks later he would win in the rain-affected Hungarian GP.
This was his fourth win in a McLaren, his other two came in 2010 in the Australian and Chinese rain. In this way a painting might tell a story that covers several years of events, and I always hope that stories can grow and evolve or even new stories can emerge.
And that happened this weekend in Suzuka. Once again Jenson was the one judging the crossover to inters perfectly, fighting for a podium and ready to add a new rainy chapter to his career and the narrative of the painting. But the race would not be remembered for this. Instead, a whole new story emerged.
While the days preceding the race were filled with predictions and forecasts, these sudden dark clouds fitted no weather model. When night fell in Suzuka, a painting that hadn’t changed for years, had a new name, a new narrative:
Edge of Darkness
About a race that was pushed into the immersive shade of nightfall. About the rain during the race, and the storm in the media afterwards. About blame, censorship and risk. About life, death and the delicate space in between. About a day that has lasted for over 20 years and now sees dusk falling, and sooner or later will come to an end. If it hasn’t already. About a perfect storm.
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