Jan Rambousek's first project took 2½ years and help from a host of other artists. He describes it as a "labor of love." I imagine Rambousek questioned whether or not he should keep going, whether he should just go back to the old job: 10 years in advertising, working for other, "nagging" people.
But, Rambousek didn't quit, and with CG help from friend Petr Milerski and that host of artists, Rambousek created The Silver Arrows: The Great Moments 1934 - 1939.
They had captured the immense energy coursing through eighty years of racing history. In short: They nailed it. Exactly.
See for yourself:
Since that first project, Rambousek and Milerski have been creating with their own form of fine, disciplined art, while teaming up with set designers, digital artists, and others along the way. On their largest set, over 73 people were working at the same time. They've turned digital art into a community-wide effort: actors, grips, costuming, cameras, CG models, motion blur. So much so, that the behind-the-scenes images look like movie sets.
And surprisingly, they are very open about their process. They document each step of each production, from initial conception to the final printing. Though, I'm not sure why I'm surprised. I imagine these are no trade secrets, but the transparency feels like generosity.
Since The Silver Arrows, they've expanded to recreate other moments and icons in racing history, as well as a series of images paying homage to the aviators and planes in The Battle of Britain.
Though the promotional material for Unique and Limited talks a lot about doing justice to an era, recapturing history, and giving history the media treatment it deserves. Certainly, they deserve credit for their dedication to historical accuracy and the recreation of a time period. Like a great period-piece movie, they've created some incredible images.
What I think is important about these images, as art, is that they capture exactly what today's automotive enthusiast imagines about history. Yes, there is serious historical accuracy. But the perspective has changed. These are artists from 2015 looking back, which I think is what resonates with a contemporary audience. We feel like we are at these scenes in a very real way, because the images share our contemporary perspective.
The inclusion of human beings in the pictures only adds to this sensation. Unique and Limited's art reintroduces some much needed humanity to an automotive world often forgetful of the fact that real, smoking, dirty human beings are responsible for the cars we all drive.
These images go far beyond the simple car corner (or taillights...) beauty shot to remind us what really made these cars and eras so great in the first place: Human beings, and their discipline, flesh, sweat, and blood, not to mention the passion and dedication it takes to stick with a project for 2.5 years or win at all costs.
The latest series captures the Ferrari 250 GTO, specifically at the legendary 1962 24-hours of Le Mans, France, and the 1964 Targa Florio, in Italy. The images speak for themselves.
To purchase one of these fine, fine works of art, visit Rambousek and Milerski's website, Unique & Limited. The team offers their services to individuals looking to recreate their own moment of history. Also available are some beautiful posters of each featured car: