Wisconsin Photographer Featured by National Art Museum of Sport

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Acclaimed Sports and Action Photographer Clint Thayer of Madison, Wis., will be featured in the National Art Museum of Sport exhibit "Speed and Motion: Racing to the Finish Line" May 23-September 2012.

"I feel he is within the top three sport art photographers I have seen," said Elizabeth Varner, executive director of the National Art Museum of Sport."

The artistry of endurance sports is featured in a series of fine art photographs by Madison, Wis., photographer Clint Thayer. The photo essay has been selected for exhibition by the National Art Museum of Sport (NAMOS) in Indianapolis, Ind.. The exhibit, entitled "Speed and Motion: Racing to the Finish Line," will run at NAMOS from May 23 through September, 2012.

“The five images I am showing in this exhibition highlight the artistry of endurance sports, including triathlon, cycling, cyclocross and swimming,” said Thayer. “Racing is primal and intense, and I wanted to depict the fear, trepidation, anxiety, tension and resolution that many endurance athletes experience during a race.”

Thayer is one of seven internationally recognized artists whose work will be displayed. Additional artists include Chris Bucher, Scott Fincher, Sayaka Ganz, Walter Knabe, Thomas Allen Pauly and Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki.

Elizabeth Varner, executive director of NAMOS, said, “The exhibit features over 30 paintings, sculptures, photographs and installations from many top sport artists worldwide. Representing a wide range of artistic media, Speed and Motion: Racing to the Finish Line captures the heart-pounding drama of racing [in 9 different sports]… we wanted pieces that would capture the power of racing, because everything about racing is larger than life – the crowds, the chaos, the loudness.”

In describing Thayer’s unique approach and perspective, Varner said, “I like his photography immensely. I feel he is within the top three sport art photographers I have seen….While Clint Thayer has the technical capacity for conventional sports photographic technique, I think what sets him apart is that his style really crosses the boundary into true sport art. His work is so different; it captures the emotion and intensity of sport. They’re some of the most dynamic images I’ve seen.“

“I think that the power of motion in fine art photography is that it can be a bridge between representational images and abstractions,” said Thayer. “I use motion like I use light: to help frame and sculpt the visual narrative that’s in front of me.”

Photographer Tom McInvaille, a past special assignment photographer for the United States Olympic Team, said, “Clint Thayer’s sport photography gives a fresh approach to an overly clichéd and highly predictable genre…[he] gives us a glimpse into the larger world of an athlete’s life. I’ve had the pleasure of watching Mr. Thayer’s work evolve into easily accessible yet complex stories. This is an attribute found in only the best of photographs, sport or not.”

Founded in 1959, NAMOS maintains one of the largest collections of fine art depicting sport in the United States. The museum is dedicated to encouraging artists engaged in the genre, and also to collect, preserve, and share the best examples of sport art NAMOS can acquire. “The founder of NAMOS, Germain G. Glidden, was a portrait artist and champion squash player,” said NAMOS Executive Director Elizabeth C. Varner. “Glidden believed that sport art is like the Olympics: it has the power to bring together people from all over the world in peace,” said Varner.

Over 40 sports are represented in the over 900 paintings, sculptures and photographs at NAMOS. Artists whose works are included in the permanent collection include George Bellows, Ogden Pliessner, Winslow Homer, Ray Ellis, James Fiorentino, Joe Brown and Alfred Boucher.

The museum’s first home was in Madison Square Garden in New York. It has been in Indianapolis since 1990 and is located at 850 West Michigan Street, Indianapolis, Ind. NAMOS is open free to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. For group tours and weekend hours call 317.274.3627 or e-mail ecvarner@iupui.edu; for more information see http://www.namos.iupui.edu. An opening reception for Speed and Motion: Racing to the Finish Line will be held from 5:30-7:30 pm on Wednesday, May 23, 2012.

The series by Clint Thayer is presented as large-format (60” x 40”) limited edition giclée archival prints on canvas, and was sponsored in part by members of the Trek Midwest Team.

Clint Thayer is based in Madison, WI and is available for assignment worldwide. He owns Focal Flame Photography LLC, specializing in sports and action photography for individual athletes and commercial entities. For more information on Thayer, visit focalflame.com.

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Clint Thayer, sports & action photographer

Clint Thayer
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