I've written about visionary artist, Brian T. Fox, in a previous column here on Saratoga.com. I know Brian as both a friend and as an artist. I first met him four years ago, at an event for the Jackie Robinson Foundation. He'd painted the late legend, and was present to show his work to a throng of admirers of the great athlete--including Mrs. Robinson, herself.
In the four years since then, I've been privy to the inner workings of the artist's brain and soul. I get to see his paintings before they're finished, and consider it an honour and privilege to see the process, first-hand.
I just received an email containing the latest painting, a work still in progress. I am sharing this photo of the unfinished painting so that you can get excited about it, and be at Siro's on Shadwell Travers Day to watch Brian work on this very piece.
Brian will be working on this artwork, the most magnificent painting of Rachel Alexandra that I've ever seen, outside of Siro's, so that you can become part of the creative process. Imagine that. While many artists in the world of Thoroughbred racing are painting her--who wouldn't?--Brian is the one who captures the strength of the magnificent filly. He knows her, from a place deep within where both souls meet. He understands horses--intuits them--and understands the workings of Her Serene Highness better than any artist I've encountered.
Many of his paintings are done in black and white, some with a bit of sepia. This starkness finds not only musculature and strength, but goes into the very being of the subject. So it is with Brian's painting--even in "rough draft form" of Rachel Alexandra. I experienced her last Monday as I've never before experienced a horse--and will report on that on Sunday. To whet your appetite, all I can say is that a moment that transcended time and space occurred between me and the best horse in America. She's probably the best horse in the world, and I know this because...she told me.
On Saturday, August 29th, Brian will be outside the racing institution, Siro's, to work on the Rachel painting. We have the opportunity to see a genuine artist at work. Too many people throw around the word, "artist," when in fact they are very good craftspersons. Brian T. Fox is an artist whose name in the future will be spoken in the same hushed tones as those of Picasso, Miro and Ver Meer. A contemporary artist, someone we can experience first-hand in our generation--but whose talent and access to Divine instruction goes far beyond that which we may have encountered in our everyday lives.
This opportunity, to see Fox paint outside of Siro's, is far more than a sideshow: this is an invitation into the al fresco studio of a genius.
Please consider this your personal invitation to be outside of Siro's on Shadwell Travers Day, (perhaps before the race, definitely after), and meet Brian T. Fox in person. His eyes may take you aback when first you meet--but your soul will connect with him. You'll see his hands bring to life the power and majesty that we know as Rachel Alexandra. And you'll go home talking about the experience, for this magical moment will be a highlight of your Saratoga Summer--perhaps of your life.
Peace to you, and as always--May the Horse be with you.