Paul Oz is the man behind some of the best F1 art you will have seen, and a supporter of Badger GP. He’s a fan of F1 and because of his massive talent he’s now well within the inner-circle of the pinnacle of motorsport. Really? Yes. Put it this way, last year, Jenson Button used Paul’s art for his own personal Christmas cards – that’s one heck of an endorsement.
Being a supporter of Badger GP, we thought it was time for a catchup with Paul to see what he’s been up to (never boring!) and what he makes of the season.
2016 looks to have been a big year for you, what have been your highlights?
It’s been a crazy year… especially with live painting at three flyaway F1 weeks in the last couple of months, I just get on top of workload in the studio, then it all goes nuts again. Monaco is incredible every year, but this May creating a painting with Ferrari’s sponsor Infor live in their St Devote suite, was the biggest gig I’ve had out there to date. But – working with the British Embassy in Mexico promoting ‘Innovation is GREAT Britain’ together with Jenson… was the most incredible evening ever. I love our country, and I love F1… and everyone’s a Jenson fan hey!
Saw that you were over in Mexico, what were you up to there?
Aside from the British Embassy event with the Ambassador and Jenson, I was working with Formula Life Magazine and Jai Alive, live painting in 5 of their paddock club suites over the weekend, so in front of about 1000 guests all in all. They are massively enthusiastic fans of F1 out there, and so friendly too. I did one other event on the Tuesday as soon as I got to Mexico City where Checo Perez turned up to. I’ve never seen anything like the reaction he got, absolute pandemonium!
The final race of the season is upon us, who do you think will grab the title?
It will take something pretty strange to happen for Nico to lose it now. Brazil in the wet was the roll of the dice, and Nico came through it. We’ve seen repeatedly that it almost doesn’t matter where the 2nd Merc is after lap 1, they can still come back through the field to finish 2nd behind the lead car, and that’s all he needs to do. Lewis lost a similar lead in the last race of 2007 though… so he knows better than anyone that it’s not over yet!
How are you going to watch the season finale, going to Abu Dhabi?
I’ll be in Abu Dhabi yes… I’m live painting Jenson with McLaren to mark his last race on the Friday, really looking forward to that! Where I’m actually watching the race I don’t have a firm plan yet… I have an opportunity to live paint in a suite on Sunday but I wouldn’t mind actually watching it instead of trying to focus on work, let’s see what happens.
What’s on the agenda for Paul Oz in 2017?
More of the same! It looks like I have a gallery show in Brighton in January, not F1 related, then another in Edinburgh in the spring. Then Monaco, Silverstone, Festival of Speed are all certainties, and close together which kinda takes over a whole two months with preparation and travel. Mexico for sure I’ll be out at again, this year was so incredible. I’ll look for another couple of race weeks to be working at too towards the end of the season… Austin hopefully, we’ve a few ideas for events there.
Christmas is coming, if you could invite 5 F1 personalities around for Christmas dinner, who would you invite and why?
Great question! Top of the list, Ross Brawn. I’ve never met him, but he seems almost like you’d want him to be your dad, if you know what I mean. Murray Walker because he’s an absolute legend. And I want him to record my answer phone. Natalie Pinkham because she’s lovely. Jenson… because he’s one of the most genuine blokes I’ve ever met, never mind considering what he’s achieved. And as this is clearly fiction… Ayrton Senna, no explanation needed I think.
What do you drive? What do you want to drive?
A bright orange RS6 usually, a perfect car for ferrying artwork around the country! Or the Mrs’ Golf because its cathartic to be able to floor it now and again without reaching the speed limit instantly, and I love a manual. The list of wants is a long and mostly impractical one. I’d love a McLaren at some point though, loving what they’ve been creating the last few years.