Cars, racing, art, Tracy – word play synonymous with 3D street painting at the premier event of the F1 2010 racing circuit – the Singapore Grand Prix! What an amazing experience for me personally as this was my very first F1 race event and boy, did it ever live up to expectations!
Let’s talk about this sport culture for just a moment. F1 attracts the brightest and best in racing, with a worldwide audience of just about 600 million fans. That number indicates there’s got to be something to this sport & I know what it is: the cars. These cars are sexy. Period. Louder than a screaming 747, faster than a speeding bullet and hotter than Angelina Jolie on her best day! The adrenaline rush from watching, first hand, these beauties taking a corner at speed is truly breathtaking. I’m a fan of good design anywhere and cars are no exception, so seeing the Ferrari, the McLaren-Mercedes and Renault vehicles in action was really quite a thrill. My first reaction was one of surprise as the cars were actually a bit more petite than I had imagined – on tv they seem large and hulking but in person, they are light, small and all engine. I can only imagine the rush the drivers must get from being behind the wheel while navigating 61 laps for 2 hours, balls out, the twists and turns of their race circuit. The endurance and strength needed seems almost super human to me: a testament to the talent required to pilot one of these creations; congrats go to Alonso Fernando and Ferrari for their circuit victory! I had no idea I’d be bitten with the F1 bug but I can firmly state that I will indeed look forward to the next opportunity I get in seeing this sport live.
In support of the race, Singapore pulled out all the stops and deservedly retained the title of ‘jewel of the circuit’, with a host of quality festivities that led up to the main attraction. Headlined by Mariah Carey, artists participating included ‘American Idol’ sensation Adam Lambert, Missy Elliott, Daughtry, Sean Kingston, Singapore’s own Vanessa Fernandez, Ojos De Brujo, Escala, ‘Brazil, Brazil’, DJ Tiga, Italy’s DIV4S, Australia’s Melissa Bergland, Italy’s ‘Studio Festi’ performing trapeze/theatrical presentations and the ever popular Chippendale’s. Boasting three full days of events, demonstrations, and performances by some of the world’s biggest stars, I had the honor of being included in the schedule by creating 2 demo chalk paintings inside Circuit Park, while also conducting a series of workshops for local college level art students through LaSalle College of the Arts.
The LaSalle campus is a magical series of structures designed to inspire and stimulate creativity. Touring the student studios reminded me so much of my years as an undergrad at Tyler School of Art, with all the excitement, originality and camaraderie associated with developing one’s vision and craft. Excited about learning the ways and means of street painting, the students were ultra talented and managed to get a handle on 3d drawing very quickly – each one successfully completing an F1 themed image in 90 minutes.
The city itself is beautiful, with a skyline to die for. Architecture rules (think I.M. Pei, Mosche Safdie, Michael Graves) with the Esplanade Theater on the Bay & the Marina Bay Sands resort being my personal favorites. The modern architecture mixed with Hindu, Chinese and Islamic religious / institutional structures speak of a city of contrasts – traditionally valued yet self-consciously progressive – similarities exist in the culture and people I met there. Home of the Singapore Sling, the cuisine shone through as something to experience – the best in Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Malayasian and Singaporean, with Pepper Crab being a new favorite. (Thank you Hilda!)
The working conditions were challenging in the fact that we were drawing outdoors (under a tent) in 85+ temps, with 90%+ humidity; very out of the norm for the coastal desert dweller that I am. But despite the weather, which an occasional thunderstorm would relieve for us, my team and I were able to complete 2 large 3D street paintings in the course of 5 days, to the delight and fascination of event attendees. All in all a fantastic event with something for everyone.
Thanks go to Faizal Bohtiar for ‘being there’ 24/7; my team – Tobie, Justin, and Jane; and to the entire GP organizing committee for their support and consideration. Gratitude and special thanks to Tracy Saunders for photography & support.