Gear: Alex Wakefield and the Art of Capturing Speed

Alex Wakefield and the Art of Capturing Speed

By Michael Banovsky
March 10, 2015

Ever since he was a kid, artist Alex Wakefield has, like many of us, been interested in racing: the machines, the electric excitement before a race, and the stories that unfold during competition. His work features both cars and motorcycles, plucked from some of the most pivotal moments in history.

Instead of reproducing the action exactly as it was seen during television or in photo coverage, Wakefield instead often changes perspective and uses the flexibility of art to give his audience a different view on the action. His painting of Brian Redman at Spa-Francorchamps in 1972, for instance, places the viewer directly in the path of Redman’s Ferrari 312 PB as it negotiates the Masta Kink, a section of the old Spa-Francorchamps circuit that has since been removed due to safety considerations. Far from a cheery look at a pretty Ferrari going around a corner, Wakefield’s piece depicts the car as a giant red monster bearing down on the viewer.

Wakefield’s approach starts from his own passion for motorsports, narrowing his focus to a race, a driver, or a car. “I’d like to show the beauty of the [Porsche] 917, or a race like the Targa Florio,” Wakefield says. “A lot of it comes down to sketching, like how a car like the 917 would look from a certain angle or at night.”

Wakefield’s work is done using traditional materials: oil paints, canvas, charcoal, and he prefers creating art without the aid of a computer as it offers a tactile connection between the subject, artist, and viewer.

“I hope that if people don’t know much about racing they can at least see how I’ve depicted a car and say, ‘Wow, this is exciting’,” Wakefield says. “If I can bring a few new fans to the sport because they’ve seen my work, there’s no better feeling as an artist and racing fan.”

For 2015, Wakefield hopes to continue attending historic races and other motorsport events, and says to expect more pieces that follow the almost movie poster-like style of “Go Fever”, his work that depicts the epic struggle between Ford and Ferrari for Le Mans glory.

Wakefield has generously extended to Petrolicious readers a 10% off coupon for prints. Simply pick a print from his store and use the code “PETRO” at checkout.

You can also find Alex Wakefield at his website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Image Sources: Alex Wakefield –

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8 years ago

I own a “Visions of the Night” print and never tire of looking at it – a great artist!

Alex Wakefield
Alex Wakefield
8 years ago

Thank you gentlemen I appreciate that! Lukas, getting the juxtaposition of light vs. dark on paper isn’t terribly hard. It’s the vibrant color that oil paint brings to the table that really helps sell the look of the painting. The prep sketch is seen here to help show you.

Lukas Duyck
Lukas Duyck
9 years ago

Can you create that light-effect on paper? and what would you all need then to make that?

David Lake
David Lake
9 years ago

I love the movement in your artwork. Perfect.

Alex Wakefield
Alex Wakefield
7 years ago
Reply to  David Lake

Thank you David, I appreciate that! I’m always updating my Instagram and FB pages. Feel free to follow me there if you would like.
@jonnyspa27 on Instagram

Thanks again!

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