This charcoal illustration began life as a request from a client and in the process of researching the drawing I started to read up on 'Mike the Bike' and fell in love with the hero who represents so much of what's great about sport in general and motorsport in particular. In our modern world where apart from a few wonderful exceptions like Rossi and Marquez, sporting heroes are all too often bland corporate individuals with 'personality bypasses..,' - however here was a comic book hero.
A multi millionaire who had world titles and TT wins in cartoon amounts, yet he loved the company of the guys in the paddock. He could party harder than anyone and was loved by the fans and fellow competitors like no one else. He crossed codes and was a successful Grand Prix car racer and life saver, being awarded the George medal for stopping his own car mid-race to save the life of a fellow competitor.
Then the famous 1978 return from retirement to win the TT for Ducati. For a man who's entire life depended on relying on his ridiculous skill levels, his death in a mundane road accident driving his daughter to a chip shop was tragic.
As much as the old images of his racing are inspiring, the film of his funeral says so much good about the man..? Among the guys who carried the coffin were his biggest competitors (and therefore friends) Geof Duke, John Surtees and Agostini, and fellow 4-wheeled Grand Prix driver Richard Attwood and a certain fellow hell raiser called Mr James Hunt...
I wouldn't be at all surprised to discover in years to come that he was some kind of undercover Ian Flemming 'James Bond' figure, the story of his life would fit into 007 novel..!
I hope my picture does justice to the man, the utterly beautiful MV and those almost mythical time ...and for those of you who are wondering about the identity of the rider of bike number 12, it's New Zealander Hugh Anderson.
My thanks go to Mortons Archive for giving me permission and the rights to use their photographic reference of the great man as the basis for my drawing.
Each print is hand crafted onto a heavy 315GSM Fine Art paper. The paper is almost identical to the paper on which the original was drawn so that each print is a perfect reproduction of the original artwork. Your print will be individually signed and numbered by the artist and a personal dedication can be written if requested. Each print is accompanied by a certificate of provenance.
The paper size is 42 x 30 cm and the actual illustrated image size is 38 x 28 cm.
Exhibition quality Giclee Print 38 x 28cm - £29.50(Price includes P&P to UK & EU, £5 postage outside of EU)
All sizes are approximate