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Ayrton Senna, 2004Patrick Gripe
Un mot sur l'oeuvre
( REF : PGRI003)
In February 2004, L’Equipe Magazine dispatched Patrick Gripe (photographer) and Philippe Joubin (special correspondent) to Brazil, and in particular São Paulo to retrace Ayrton Senna’s steps. The magazine was preparing a special issue on the racing driver in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of his death (he died during a race in Imola in Italy on the 1st May 1994).
The photo was taken in Morumbi, a fairly wealthy district in the megacity of Sao Paulo, not far from the cemetery where Senna is buried.
Le témoignage de Patrick Gripe
Philippe Joubin’s account (special correspondent for L’Equipe Magazine)
We’d travelled all over the city talking to people about Senna, visiting places directly related to him. We were on the lookout for even the faintest trace of his presence, and had seen for ourselves how he was still very much present in the hearts of Brazilians and in particular paulistanos. Senna was very attached to his home town. When we got back to our hotel I could sense that Patrick was cranky : « I have loads of images, but not the one I want, the single, powerful image that says it all », he grumbled as he set off out again alone with his backpack slung over his shoulder, even though the rain and wind were getting stronger by the minute. I suspect he had already seen this place and had gone straight back there. But the smile on his face when he came back a few hours later said more than any words could have. He just went straight to the hotel bar and ordered a round of caipirinhas…
Le choix de Jean-Denis
I am always sensitive to the traces people leave behind them, and it often provides wonderful material for the photographer. Patrick Gripe always brings that little bit extra to his images. Once he had found the frame for the shot, he just stood there for a long time, oblivious to the weather, before seeing the person who would turn a simple illustration into a great image by his presence alone.