KING OF DIRTPhotorealist painting of TJ Lavin

Photorealism painting | King of dirt
This is one of Bert’s earliest paintings. It is based on a magazine article and was modified to reduce the lens distortion somewhat.
At the time backflip variations like this were next level. Even today it is extremely cool to see BMX riders going for it like this.
Bert was contacted many years ago by Mr Lavin who made some enquiries about the painting. He deframed the painting and repaired the scratches in the blue sky, but he ultimately didn’t want to buy it.
The faces are a little unusual, but that’s down to the fact that the source image is a little weird in that regard. Hats off to Keith Mulligan for capturing an incredible moment.
Dimensions: 62x91cm.
Painted: 2001.
Materials: Acrylic on MDF board.
Availability: For sale $75 unframed. $400 framed.

The story behind King of Dirt

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

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

Learn more about Bert Ernie

Shopping Trolley Logo

Learn more about buying art from Bert Ernie using an escrow service

Bert Ernie Logo

See what new art Bert Ernie has created

Wall mockup view of photorealistic painting – King of dirt

Photorealism painting | King of dirt | Wall mockup

Source image of photorealistic painting – King of dirt

Photorealism painting | King of dirt | Source image

Detail views of photorealistic painting – King of dirt

Photorealism painting | King of dirt | Detail 1
Photorealism painting | King of dirt | Detail 2
Photorealism painting | King of dirt | Detail 3
Photorealism painting | King of dirt | Detail 4

I am Bert Ernie.
I paint beauty and madness.