Alex Wakefield’s analogue art sets an eerie scene of speed

From a young age, Chicago-based artist Alex Wakefield was intrigued by the drama of ‘Golden Era’ motor racing. Over the years, he developed this interest into a career, by using traditional methods and materials to depict memorable motorsport scenes from unorthodox perspectives…

A unique viewpoint

“My work differentiates from other artists in the fact that I seek to tell my own visual story. If there is a famous race or racing moment, I try to imagine a unique way to depict it,” Alex told Classic Driver. As such, whereas other motorsport artists might create their own take on a single iconic photograph, Alex strives to capture the action from his own viewpoint – often with dramatic (and sometimes sinister) results. Brian Redman’s Ferrari 312 PB storming round a corner on the old Spa-Francorchamps circuit, for example, or the birds-eye view of Jacky Ickx re-setting the Le Mans lap record in 1977, the headlights of his Martini-Porsche 936 the only light source in the eerie scene. “Historic racing scenes seem more visceral to me. Maybe a bit more pure and wild,” he tells us.

A rollercoaster ride of emotions

Many historic racing scenes are depicted in his work, but more recent MotoGP races have received the Wakefield treatment, too. “The reason I've created more recent imagery of MotoGP racers is for the same reason as the historic cars. Growing up watching riders like Gardner, Doohan, Schwantz, Rainey and Lawson on 500cc two-strokes really set a high bar in my mind. Their personalities; the wicked machines that one minute could be so beautiful to watch, then suddenly turn evil and send the rider off the bike.” Particularly poignant is the monochrome sketch of late MotoGP star Marco Simoncelli leaning low through a right-hand bend, reminiscent of his final corner. Emotion-stirring stuff, indeed.

Photos: Alex Wakefield

Alex Wakefield’s artwork can be purchased via his online store.

You can find numerous historic competition cars for sale in the Classic Driver Market.