The Vintagent presents Brooklands George, a 2008 painting by Conrad Leach, 50×60″, acrylic on canvas.  Commissioned by the late Dr. George Cohen (‘Norton George’), and originally displayed at the Dunhill Drivers Club during the 2008 Goodwood Revival meeting.  Being sold on behalf of Sarah Cohen.  Price on request: contact us here.

Brooklands George, 2008. Acrylic on canvas, 50in w x 60in h

The paintings of Conrad Leach are iconic, because for years he has explored the imagery that creates icons.  ‘Brooklands George’ (2008), while depicting a particular man, motorcycle, and location, is also timeless, featuring the shape of a machine built for speed, an evocative locale, and a hunched-over racer pushing the limits of speed and danger.  Leach’s influences range from 20th Century movie posters and advertising, to art/historical references like Beggarstaff posters and Roy Lichtenstein‘s graphic blasts. His cool surface technique is contradicted by saturated colors and a strongly contrasting ground, plus the kinetic, magnetic appeal of his human and mechanical subjects.

Brooklands George on display at the Dunhill Drivers Club, 2008, beside Dr. George Cohen’s 1927 Norton Model 18 racer and racing attire that inspired the commmission.

Conrad Leach is best known for his exploration of heroic imagery, from British racing vehicles (motorcycles, cars, planes) to contemporary Japanese pop stars and Ukiyo-e woodcuts. He’s not a nostalgist, but responds on canvas to people, machines, and events from the past and present that resonate with our culture.  He explains , ‘So much is sexy from the interwar era! The Supermarine Schneider Trophy racer, Malcolm Campbell’s Bluebird, the Brough Superior ‘Works Scrapper’, are nearly forgotten today, but the aesthetics of the era are so pure and functional. This was pretty radical stuff back then, but my work has to be relevant now, as I’m not interested in recreating the past.  My painting technique is contemporary, even Pop, and attempts to create resonance between a viewer today and images from that era. To take an enormous bespoke object like the Bluebird onto Daytona beach in Florida and attempt to go faster than any human, that required an incredible train of thought, and I’m trying to get into the heads of those people.”

Conrad Leach in his then London studio in 2008.