World Champions in Art, the entity which was created to celebrate the achievement of all 32 of the FIA’s World Champion drivers in individual artistic depictions, is delighted to announce that the entire 32-piece collection has been acquired by Sebastian Vettel, himself a four-times World Champion.
Even before making his F1 début with BMW in 2007, Sebastian harboured a deep interest in the history of his chosen sport. His personal collection of sporting memorabilia already includes autographs of his 31 illustrious predecessors. Now he is the proud possessor of the collection of champions’ images created by recognised international artist Mark Dickens in collaboration with Keith Sutton of Sutton Images.
Mark Dickens’ involvement in the sport dates back to 2009. After he had been commissioned by Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management to commemorate the opening of the new Yas Marina circuit, his work came to the attention of F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. Mr Ecclestone then commissioned him to create a series of paintings, one for each of that year’s Grand Prix rounds. The commission brought together the high-tension world of Formula One with the architectural and cultural dynamism of each host city.
The images of the champion drivers have been produced in Dickens’ trademark style. He uses mixed media, building layer upon layer of photographic transfers, handmade paper, gold leaf, fabric, resin paint and text.
As an integral part of each painting, drivers and leading motorsport personalities were asked to express in their own words what made their chosen World Champion special. The quotes have been incorporated by Mark into each painting, providing a fascinating insight into what each driver represented to those who knew him or were inspired by him. (Each person who agreed to write a quote will be given a limited edition print as agreed).
“I have long held an interest in the history of Formula 1 and the champions of this sport.
When I first heard of this project from Keith Sutton three years ago I was fascinated, but it wasn’t until I saw the completed original art works in London last December that I realised how impressive they are.
The addition of the quotes collected by Keith from so many different motorsport figures gives a great insight into the champions. I know I will appreciate these works for years to come.”
“I first became aware of Mark Dickens’ work in 2009. In 2011 I commissioned Mark to create 19 paintings, showcasing each of that years’ races. The following year we presented each painting to the respective promoter.
I was delighted to see that Mark had teamed up with Keith Sutton to collaborate on this new series. World Champions in Art.
There has never been a collaboration like this before.
I’ve known Keith Sutton since he started his career in motorsport photography almost 40 years ago. He has demonstrated to me his enduring passion for the history of the sport.
Now that Sebastian has acquired the collection of 32 World Champions, how appropriate it is to know that the works now belong to a World Champion.”
“I was delighted to be involved in such a unique project, the likes of which will never be repeated.
I would like to send my heartfelt thanks to everyone that helped to make this possible. To all the 215 motorsport personalities from drivers, team principals, team managers, journalists and photographers to current F1 drivers and past drivers who gave hand written quotes and of course the artist Mark Dickens whose unique style complimented the images from the Phipps/Sutton Images Collection.”
“It has been a pleasure to collaborate with Keith Sutton on this project.
I first approached Keith about my idea to realise this project some 3 years ago. He was delighted to be part of this historic series of Artworks and Quotes.
It’s a proud day for me to know that the 32 paintings now belong to a great World Champion.
In addition to the 32 paintings, we produced a painting about Bernie Ecclestone with the sale proceeds going to Great Ormond Street Hospital. There will be a cheque presented to the charity at Silverstone during the British GP this week.’’
A selection of some of the quotes featured in the World Champions in Art Collection:
Sir Stirling Moss OBE:
“For me, Juan Manuel Fangio will always be the greatest Formula One driver. A man of enormous talent, humility, honesty, honour and integrity. A man I admired. It was an honour to compete against him and an even greater honour to become his teammate. He was a wonderful friend and teacher. It has been my pleasure to follow him on the track and in life.”
Martin Brundle – Former Formula One Driver – Sky F1 Commentator:
“As a child in the 1960’s my uncle took me to Brands Hatch and Silverstone to see the Grand Prix. His words were always ‘we’re going to see Jim Clark win’. Jim Clark was one of the all time great drivers and a true sportsman. His driving style and skill behind the wheel was supreme and silky smooth. I never had the chance to meet him but it’s clear to me that he was a gentleman and a good human being. I was out at a rally with my father when we heard that Jim Clark had died. I remember the moment and location to this day. The truly great so often die young.”
Kimi Raikkonen – 2007 F1 World Champion:
James Hunt “Genius, Legend, Party Animal, Playboy……World Champion….Perfect!”
John Surtees OBE – Four-time 500cc Motorcycle World Champion – Former Formula One World Champion in 1964:
“I have known a number of great drivers during my time in motorsport. Some I raced against or drove for my team. Others I have watched from the sidelines. Ferrari played a special part in my life, and I have always considered it as unfinished business. Fernando Alonso must be feeling the same way after performing some great drives for the team. Michael Schumacher achieved in being part of an international team at Maranello much of what I had dreamt was possible. I therefore nominate Michael Schumacher as being a special World Champion.”
Alan Jones – F1 World Champion 1980:
“I never really got on with Nelson (Piquet) that much. Nelson was reasonably arrogant and ill-mannered. Apart from that he was a lovely bloke.”
Ross Brawn – Team Principal Mercedes 2013:
“ Michael Schumacher – Steel on the outside but a soft heart to those who were part of the team. The ultimate professional who raised the bar in so many areas. Never finished a race fatigued, had a razor sharp mind and a huge driving talent. Not hard to see why he won seven World Championships. Nobody who worked with Michael has a bad word to say about him – The Ultimate Accolade?”
Sebastian Vettel – Formula One Four-Time World Champion:
“ Jochen Rindt was a pure racer. He became a true inspiration when I was becoming a man. He was a lunatic in a very positive way, seeking out for any possible challenge on 4 wheels. His loss was tragic as he had so much more to give to Formula 1. He was a great champion. Shame I never met him!”