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The Stare

Richard Kelley

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50x75
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80x120
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Fine Art print
Baryta Hahnemühle 315g
Alu mounted print
Hanging bars
Shadow
Gap Frame
Black wood
Acrylic print
Aluminium brace
Starting

75,00 €

LocationDetroit, USA
Prints issueLIMITED EDITION 50 prints ONLY
Shooting date6 juin 1982
Original pictureNegative
FormatsHorizontal
Era1980-2000
ColorsBlack&White
CollectionPassion
Richard Kelley
Richard Kelley

I have been a photojournalist, writer, communicator and historian for most of my life.

I gravitated to the work of W. Eugene Smith, and the Magnum photographers; Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Joseph Koudelka. Their common approach became my mantra: make images that tell a story; remove yourself; disappear; leave out the vanity; and, make emotional and elegantly composed images that point to a truth about your subject.

I began my Formula One documentary in 1972, just nine months after I first began to make images.

Although underage, I was able to get full accreditation for the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. I was immediately swept up in the tangible drama of the pit lane and its compelling images. From 1972 through 1984, I captured the intimate moments of drivers who fought to survive in a Formula One era that was rapidly undergoing the most comprehensive changes to drivers, cars and technology in Grand Prix history.

Early on, it was clear that these technological developments were influencing the spirit, passion and bravery that I was recording of that time, and so I decided to adopt the style of Cartier-Bresson and become “a fly on the wall”; getting as close as I could to the telling moments without influencing the emotion or the drama of the moment. 

I consciously backed away and didn’t go looking for moments; I just waited to let those moments compel me to make an image. And, as luck would have it, I witnessed and recorded hidden moments that became pivotal incidents in Grand Prix history.

After positions at the Chicago Tribune and Observer Newspapers in Detroit, I began a 20-year association with Car and Driver Magazine, traveling the world to provide art for over 600 feature stories and numerous covers.

As always, I pursued personal photographic projects, capturing the human condition outside of my newspaper and magazine work.

I also expanded my photography by providing creative content for media and marketing materials for many of the largest multinational automotive manufacturers in the United States. Clients included: Audi, Mazda, BMW, Volkswagen, Porsche, Ford, General Motors, Kia, Subaru, and Jaguar.

I transitioned my photography to include writing and editing in 1998.

In 2001, I joined Mitsubishi as Senior Manager of Media Relations, helped launch the Lancer Evolution 8. I became Manager of North American Motorsports in 2003, winning the SCCA Pro Rally Championship Manufacturers’ National Open Class title with the new Evo. From there, I went on to provide public relations management for another multi-national Japanese auto company for a further eight years…

Throughout these decades, I could never forget the intimate Grand Prix images I had captured and the experiences of being a “fly on the wall” in the world of Formula One.

So, I am reclaiming my soul with this collection of never-before published Grand Prix documentary photography. I believe they offer unique impressions of amazing driver’s and athletes, and moments that changed their lives forever.

The initial presentation of my images took place in the fall of 2013 in Hong Kong, courtesy of an exhibition hosted by Blackbird Automotive and in conjunction with McLaren’s 50th Anniversary. My collection and memoirs will become the basis for a forthcoming book in the near future.

I have also returned to creating new digital work, in both monochrome and color, on fresh editorial assignments and personal sports projects that will again allow me to record human drama, struggle and grace, with all its emotion, patina, and nuance, such as Macau’s growing influence on Formula One.

And as before, I’m enjoying a creative adventure lived as "a fly on the wall." 

Thank you for joining me on this continuing journey.

When Niki Lauda came out of retirement for the 1982 Formula One season to race for Marlboro McLaren, he knew he still had the ability to win. He was proven correct, winning Long Beach that year, and his third World Formula One Driver’s Championship in 1984.

Here, he presents the classic Lauda pre-race stare as he revises his attack plan before the 1982 Detroit Grand Prix. His hard compound Michelins had failed to acquire enough heat during a cool qualifying session, and he was mired deep in the midfield for the race. A red flag incident delayed the race after a few laps and prior to the restart, Michelin had advised him and teammate John Watson to change tire compounds, guaranteeing them dramatically improved grip. Watson would go on to win; Lauda would run as high as third before hitting the Armco, and retiring.

I made this image with a Nikon F3, and a Nikon 300mm f/2.8 ED-IF lens, using Kodak Tri-X film rated at 400 ASA, 1/500 second at f/4, the afternoon of June 6, 1982, at the Grand Prix Street Circuit, Detroit, MI, USA.

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The Stare - Richard Kelley

The Stare - Richard Kelley

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