It’s Never Over is the first solo exhibition by Michael Kagan, which focused on six F1 drivers Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Niki Lauda, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher painted in cropped tight compositions.
Each piece is portrayed as a static driver’s tribute portrait, reminiscent of works hanging in the Hall of Fame. Senna, Prost and Lauda are the most iconic drivers of this sport in generations. On this list, Prost is the only driver alive – Senna died in an epic car accident, and Lauda recently passed away. Schumacher retired after a nearly fatal ski accident in 2013. Currently only Hamilton and Vettel are active drivers.
When deciding how to choose which drivers to paint, Kagan studied the best F1 drivers of all time based on winning statistics, and their purely numerical rankings. He chose the driver from the top ten of all time. Kagan likes the idea that the ranking is not fixed. No matter what era they are from, their statistics and themselves can still beat novices. In F1, there is a tradition of paying tribute to other drivers in the past-for example, Hamilton wore a yellow helmet in a race to commemorate Senna. When choosing drivers, Kagan praised the past and present of the sport, and past drivers inspiring a new generation of ways. Lauda’s portrait is based on his son’s personal photos taken by Kagan, showing how this cycle of memory goes beyond racing and extends to personal life. These drivers remember who was before them, and this is what keeps them going. They will remember them through the images they left, and then the cycle will continue.