The face of pace Automotive speed, emotion and glamour – no other Formula 1 team inspires its fans like the Scuderia Ferrari does. For many of the past racing seasons photographer Michel Comte has had “access to all areas” at the Ferrari camp.

Now the photos taken during these sessions are on display internationally, for the very first time, starting at Die Neue Sammlung in Munich – in a remarkable installation under the large, central cupola of the Pinakothek der Moderne.

The Swiss photographer Michel Comte, who currently resides in Los Angeles, has created a very precise portrait of the day-to-day life within “Formula Uno”, a portrait which is imbued with enthusiasm and passion. At photo shootings that took him to race courses all over the continent and for more than 15 years Michel Comte has met this very particular challenge: How to visualize the sensation of speed? How to capture dynamism in a still picture? How to interpret power that knows no bounds? Formula 1 gives a face to speed. And the face of Formula 1 is Ferrari.

Michel Comte has created highly zeitgeisty photos which give testimony to his surpising photographic credo, the photos portray not only Michael Schumacher and Jean Todt, but also the racing cars themselves and the legion of engineers and mechanics in a truely novel way. The result is a mixture of very close and personal portraits and exciting feature material.

The photographer worked with his regular Leica but on occasion opted for his Linhof large format camera instead, which he regards very highly because of its unequalled negative size of 20 x 25 cm – even though this ancient machine might seem an anachronism in the world of motor racing.
In order to present the high-tech material used in Formula 1 more effectively Michel Comte – and the specialists at the renowned Tricolor Laboratories in Zurich – produced the photographs using the new and lavish “Dura-Clear” process in which the large format negatives are digitally transferred to transparent clear-film.

Michel Comte, born 1953 in Zurich, is one of the masters of his profession.
Internationally acclaimed due to his international advertising campaigns as well as his work as a fashion and celebrity photographer, he has also in recent years increasingly devoted himself to feature photography. These works are not exclusive to the field of cars and motor racing but also shot on behalf of the Red Cross in the war and crises-wracked regions of Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia.

The exhibition in Munich is an international premiere. For the first time, Die Neue Sammlung – one of the leading museums in the world for design, located in the Pinakothek der Moderne – will be showing a selection of the Ferrari works by Michel Comte from November 2005 to January 2006. Following this, the exhibition will be on show in New York, Moscow, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

A large format catalogue with approximately 100 pages will be available for the exhibition. Arrangement: Yi Zhou, Paris.

An exhibition supported by the LUISA CERANO GmbH Germany and VALDO Spumanti srl Italy.
Pinakothek der Moderne. Munich
The Face of Pace. La Scuderia Ferrari. Photography by Michel Comte
04.11.2005 – 08.01.2006

Exhibition view. Photo: Rainer Viertlböck

Exhibition view. Photo: Rainer Viertlböck

Exhibition view. Photo: Rainer Viertlböck