Last week a rather special exhibition took place at the Royal Automobile Club in the heart of London, made up of 25 exclusive paintings created to celebrate over seventy years of Ferrari.
The exhibit aptly named: ‘Ferrari in Art – The Sporting Legacy’ is a unique collection of all things Ferrari. It includes the iconic cars themselves, the many legendary drivers that have driven them over the years and of course, the overriding passion these cars evoke.
Talented international artist Mark Dickens has worked on this new series with renowned F1 photographer Keith Sutton, who managed to track down many of the influential people associated with Ferrari to get involved with this project. It is in fact the second time that Mark Dickens and Keith Sutton have collaborated together on a project, the first being back in 2014 when they created ‘World Champions in Art’, which was subsequently bought by four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel.
Reading through the names of all those that have contributed to the artwork is like a ‘Who’s Who’ of Ferrari, with the likes of Piero Ferrari, Bernie Ecclestone, Nigel Mansell, Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Jean Alesi, Sebastian Vettel, Pat Fry, Rob Smedley, Rory Byrne, Stefan Johansson, Murray Walker, Nick Mason, Martin Brundle and even Prince Albert of Monaco, who is a huge Ferrari fan.
An amazing number of drivers, Ferrari owners, personalities from the world of motorsport and of course fans were asked to express what the word ‘Ferrari’ conjured up for them in handwritten words. This has resulted in an astonishing collection of 125 handwritten quotes that have been transferred on to the 25 pieces of artwork which Mark Dickens has masterfully created. This is a one of the kind contemporary and wonderful historical collection of Ferrari art.
Some of the more notable handwritten notes include this one from Ross Brawn, who attended the event last week:
“Ferrari is a team with an incredible history. My first day at Ferrari made me realise the history is with the people, not the cars, not the buildings. Workers who were third generation, their Grandparents had worked for Enzo. During my time there we managed to harness the unbelievable passion in the people – the results came. That is the true legend of Ferrari!
Ross Brawn OBE
Former Ferrari F1 Team Principal 1997 – 2006
Speaking of his time at Ferrari, Brawn said “It was a very special period in my life. Ferrari is very much a team spirit. I love the history of Ferrari, it wasn’t manufactured, it was organic, Enzo Ferrari didn’t sit down and say we are going to create this empire, and this is how we are going to do it, everything just evolved to be the world-famous car racing team and car manufacturer that it is today. To be a small part of that is very special. I’ve been lucky enough to stand on the podium at Monza when Ferrari have won and there’s no better sensation than that. Seeing the huge crowds and the emotion and passion of the fans”.
Seeing his quote adorning the Enzo Ferrari artwork last week, Uberto Selvatico Estense, the President of The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari said “It’s unbelievable and makes me very proud to see this. For me it’s a dream, to be part of the Ferrari legend is something incredible”.
Another notable quote from Nigel Mansell, says:
“Driving for Ferrari was a honour and a privilege, with so many cherished memories.
Also to be nicknamed “Il Leone” by the Italian fans was very special.
Ferrari is a family second to none”
Nigel Mansell CBE
Former Ferrari F1 Racing Driver 1989 – 1990
Speaking about the project Keith Sutton said, “It’s taken over 9 months to obtain the 125 handwritten quotes from the various personalities associated with Ferrari; however, everyone that I approached was genuinely enthusiastic and delighted to take part in this unique project”.
As before the artwork is being sold as a complete collection and although the Ferrari in Art exhibition itself is not going to be touring, a limited-edition box set of signed prints will be available to buy. One of these box sets will be presented to Jackie Stewart OBE, who won the World Sportscar Championship for Ferrari back in 1967, driving alongside Chris Amon. Sir Jackie will be auctioning his set off at the Formula 1 season-opening Australia Grand Prix next month to raise money for his charity ‘Race Against Dementia’.
Simon Burrell is Editor-in-Chief of Our Man Behind The Wheel and Our Man On The Ground Travel and Lifestyle Magazine.
Photographs by Mark Lewis Photography