A statement piece if ever there was one! This fantastic live action pastel painting by renowned animal artist Joel Kirk captures the essence of any horse racing event. The movement captured in the painting gives life to the horses and the jockeys that any artist would be proud of. It is mounted, glazed and framed in a modern pale green gusso style frame. The whole package is stunning. The frame measures 95 x 76 cm and the painting itself measures 64 x 44 cm.
Joel Kirk was born in Dorking in 1948, is one of the world’s foremost wildlife artists and has worked in conjunction with both the Diane Fossey Foundation and The Born Free Foundation in order to raise funds to save some of the planet’s most endangered and spectacular species.
The following is an excerpt from a newspaper article featuring this very painting….
The Sport of Kings…Joel Kirk wildlife artist extraordinaire.
Another week, another story to add to your reading pleasure. I know absolutely nothing about horse racing, but I do know a great painting when I see one!!!
This week we are looking at another painting by none other than Joel Kirk, allegedly one of Prince Charles’ favourite artists. The painting is a pastel drawing of a horse race over the jumps. I do not know any of the horses, the racecourse or any of the owners or jockeys involved, but I am equally sure that the colours of the jockeys’ silks will mean something to someone out there. It is another stunning example of Kirk’s work. Joel Kirk is an active wildlife artist and is best known for the work that he has done over the years for three major conservation groups. Firstly, he got involved with The Dian Fossey Foundation of “Gorillas In The Mist” fame, now known as The Gorilla Organisation. He raised a huge amount of money for the foundation by donating paintings of gorillas to the foundation to raise much needed funds to secure the future of the wild Silverback Gorillas and many other species who were in danger of losing their habitats due to deforestation. Secondly, he was heavily involved with The Born Free Foundation, the charitable trust set up by Joy Adamson to preserve the future of the great wild Big Cats of Africa. He again supported their work by donating paintings of big cats. Kirk claims Joy Adamson as one of the major influences on his life. He is a current member of and tireless campaigner for The Royal Society for Animal Protection.
Joel Kirk was born in Dorking in 1948 and showed a true painting talent from very early in his life dominating school painting competitions with his love of wildlife being his main subject matter. His father was in The Coldstream Guards and after he left the regiment the family moved to Leigh on Sea in Essex. In 1972 Kirk was accepted into the Southend College of Art where he studied for three years. Upon successful completion of his course he instantly became a full-time professional artist. He was immediately picked up by various publishing houses who produced many limited edition and open prints of his stunning early wildlife art. This gave him a very solid start in his career which enabled him to travel the world to paint his beloved and varied wild animals.
This beautiful painting is a large pastel, Kirk’s favourite medium, of a steeplechase race, I think, with the leading horse mid jump with three other horses in close pursuit with their jockeys in various different degrees of readiness for their impending leap into the unknown. It is a brilliant painting capturing all the concentration and effort of each jockey and the sheer beauty of horses enjoying the fun of a run out. The painting is mounted, glazed and framed in a modern frame, which in my view would need to be replaced or repainted to make the best of the painting.