This photorealist painting of TJ Lavin pulling a backflip turndown is one of my earliest paintings. I had a passion for racing my BMX bicycle at the time, and it made sense to recreate this moment in time as a work of art.

By copying a photograph, my ability to render scenes that would otherwise be almost impossible accurately, allows me to have an enormous range of subject matter. This photograph appeared in Ride BMX magazine and instantly had appealed to me as an image that I just had to paint. It wasn’t easy – I had to reduce the wide-angle lens distortion because it was, for my mind, too obviously ‘photographic.’ So I used Photoshop to alter this before I recreated the image on the MDF board in a pencil drawing.

This painting is all about the joy of riding a BMX bike. Thankfully it captures an incredible moment in time. TJ Lavin was one of the earliest superstars of BMX dirt jumping. He had an astonishing range of tricks. At the time of this contest (circa 2000), very few riders were capable of pulling off such difficult backflip variations.

Source image: Ride BMX – October 2000

Painting information

Materials: Acrylic on MDF board
Dimensions: 62 x 91 cm
Painted: 2001


This painting is available for purchase for the princely sum of $500 + shipping.

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From Fine Art America