“My primary era is clearly the ’60s,” he says. “For these scenes, I use period photos with the agreement of their photographer and allow myself some freedom on the framing, for example. I like racing cars, and if they have flaws or imperfections, I represent them faithfully, of course.”
“My master is Leonardo da Vinci, who is the ultimate reference in drawing because of his mastery of blur and movement,” he says. “There’s an indeterminate aspect to these drawings that’s essential. It reminds me of Picasso’s famous phrase ‘finishing a drawing, what a horror’ – that’s exactly it, I always leave an area of blur and a part of emptiness. The viewer fills that space with their experience, their story. In this way, a drawing is simply an exchange – an encounter between two people.”
Few artists, like Yan Denes, understand how to make the thrill of speed tangible for the observer with pen and paper. Not only did he design Scuderia Ferrari’s anniversary helmets in Formula 1, but he is also inspired by historic motorsport.
While the vast majority of Denes’ commissions come from owners of modern Ferrari race cars such as the 360 Challenge, 430 GT2, 488 GT3 and FXX, Yan is actually better known for his passion for historic racing scenes.
It has to be said that Denes is a virtuoso when it comes to transcribing speed and movement.