- As I write this, the completed original piece sits to my right, sparkling in the studio lights on what is a real ‘pea soup’ of an Autumn Day. I am so proud and excited about this piece. It isn’t just the final image, but more the process of how it came to be that I love. I like to engage with people to get their thoughts on possible pieces, often laying about in the studio over a tea and way too many bloody custard creams and I remember the idea for how to follow up on the first two Petrolheads pieces. Feedback and interaction are so important, naturally you must go with your gut feeling but I pride myself on keeping my ego locked away and listening to people that can make a difference and have passion in my work.
Back in 2018 when the first ‘Petrolheads’ was released, I had no idea that the reaction would be that strong. I loved the image and knew that it looked superb, but it was simply one from my ‘A New Chapter’ release. Yet, now it is without doubt the most enquired about piece and has sold out in every possible form. 2020 saw the follow up be released and has gotten a cracking reaction, I love the energy and drama on that piece as a contrast to its’ predecessor. ‘PH2’ followed on perfectly as it told the story about what happened when the film had finished, and they still had gas in the tank. There are more chapters to write on that group of cars, all in good time!
However, I wanted to do something different this time around. The idea was born from discussing possible James Bond pieces back in 2020 when I was brainstorming for what is now ‘Q Division’. The idea of having a stunning backdrop like Monte Carlo behind a selection of iconic Bond vehicles really excited me but I knew that it had more of a ‘Petrolheads’ quality to it, so that was parked (excuse the pun). I have held it back and back until the timing was right and what we see now is the culmination of so much planning and hours in the studio. So, what do you think?!
There aren’t many more spectacular backdrops than the Casino in Monte Carlo, if there are then feel free to suggest them and I will take the credit for any future piece! Joking aside, I love the splendour and intrigue of the building and with the beautiful tones of the fading light it comes to life, as do the cars! Good and evil are parked up side by side, a nod to how close darkness and light reside with each other.
For obvious reasons, Casino Royale is the base for this piece but it, like ‘Q-Division’ and the more recent ‘Underwater Love’ was created to celebrate the end of Daniel Craigs’ time as Bond, slightly delayed due to Covid but we got there eventually! As a kid watching the earlier Bond films it was always the cars and gadgets that excited me, Ok and maybe the Bond girls! There are so many of the classic vehicles that we all love, apologies if your favourite is missing but anymore and it risked looking like grid lock on the M25!
There is so much detail that surrounds the two cars in the foreground, details that hint at unrest and dark forces at work. It’s funny actually, as the iconic Lotus that went underwater was originally surrounded by a pool of water to link to its other use but with how my mind works it all went a bit dark after ‘Oddjobs’ hat pierced the car (that used to freak me out as a kid). Can you smell Petrol?
If you love the first ‘Petrolheads’ piece, then this 007 edition should get your engine revving as there is a sense of calm and mystery to the composition. What I love is there is a ‘Storyteller’ quality to the scene, a stunning building that clearly has so much going on within, yet we can’t see from looking. Yet, open your mind and your imagination and you’re up the stairs and through the doors.
The question is, what car would you pull up in?
- Released: 2021
- Collection: Retrospective 3
- Edition Size: 45 + 5AP
- Specification: Limited edition fine art print, hand signed by artist.
- Image Size: 25” x 18.5"
- Framed Size (Approx): 32.5” x 26"
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