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Jesse Alexander photo exhibition


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#1 Tim Murray

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 16:44

In today’s Guardian (UK newspaper) there is a review by one of their sports reporters, Tanya Alred, of ‘Driven’, an exhibition of Jesse Alexander’s motor racing photographs from the ‘50s and ‘60s, at the Bigger Picture Gallery, London W11, until 27 October.

She likes them:

“ . . . to look a while at his photographs is to fall head over heels backwards into the shadowlands of the 1950s, where the mechanic had a teddy boy quiff and the fashionable racing driver wrapped a silk scarf around his neck and up to his chin. A place where the watching crowd were undressed without their trilbies, and the few women spectators were all done up in Dior’s new look.

The drivers don’t look like sportsmen but straight out of Hollywood, rugged and wearing old-fashioned wrist watches and tin-pot helmets. Archie Scott-Brown sits at Silverstone doing a fine impression of Errol Flynn. Graham Hill looks from his motor pulpit all thin moustache and baggy tired eyes.

And, in Alexander’s favourite picture, Jim Clark, circa 1962, stares at the camera with huge black marks on his face tracing the outline of where his ridiculous science-lab goggles sat tight to his skin. He looks like a star, but, crucially, he also looks very human.

Then, standing under the advertisements for Cointreau or the News of the World, or speeding round a race track, are the cars. Big round things with curves and friendly round wide-open headlights, plastered with numbers like a birthday cake and with gleaming hubs and great big dials, they are a different species to the angular, angry machines of today.

Much of the joy of the pictures is in the incidental. Again and again a man who looks like the Fat Controller appears. Sometimes all you can see is his large rump, or his hat, or his huge raincoat, or in his hand a flag. In the 1956 Monte Carlo Rally five men in berets stand and watch by the corner of a village as a Bristol 406 takes the turn. In the picture taken in the pits at Monza in 1956 a priest stands in the background, all in black, his hat overshadowing everything and everyone else, including Luigi Musso . . . “

“ . . . You can be fooled by photos. But you can smell the fuel in these ones and you want to taste it. Bernie Ecclestone should catch the exhibition while he can.”



‘Big round things with curves and friendly round wide-open headlights’. :clap:

Her ‘Fat Controller’ refers to a character in the UK children’s books and TV series Thomas the Tank Engine, but in this case the description would appear to fit the man concerned perfectly.

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#2 2F-001

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 17:09

That's bizzare... I've just made a reference to Alexander's pictures - and that same Clark portrait - in an off-topic diversion on the ''worst books'' thread...

#3 David M. Kane

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 18:31

What a great review...I particularly like the Bernie comment. Max and Bernie really do need to take a stroll outside the Paddock Club and "mix"
with the masses. They might actually learn that the "masses" are interested
in a different kind of racing from he twanna bees and profilers in the Paddock Club.

Am I being hard on the Paddock Club or does anyone else share my view that
F1 has become "just" a little too bit exclusive and "you can't come in here"?

#4 WGD706

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 19:50

David
I thought Bernie did mix with the locals at the British GP when his helicopter had to land out in the boonies and his limo got lost; he went spastic at the thought of being near the unwashed common folk who pay for all those t-shirts, programs and seats!
Warren

#5 David M. Kane

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 21:06

I recently went to the USGP and I was surprised at how many of the people in the infield ACTUALLY wash AND shave...

#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 21:31

I hope Dino alias dmj will forgive me quoting his sig!

"I was in the pits, chatting to Bernie, and he said, 'Isn't this great? Just like it used to be before I f***** it up!'
Stirling Moss, about Monaco Historic GP 1997.


:D :D

#7 WGD706

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 22:11

"I was surprised at how many of the people in the infield ACTUALLY wash AND shave..."
Obviously NOT a NASCAR race!

#8 Kpy

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 22:50

Thanks for the nudge. I was tempted by the book in a specialist bookshop in Paris on Saturday, but was put off by the price.
Just found a mint copy on the net at just over 15 quid delivered.
Yippee. :) :)