Will Power has had thousands of photos taken of him during his racing career by media, fans, family and friends.
But Power has never undergone the type of photos – and the sitting/modeling he took part in, posing for the image of him that will adorn the Borg-Warner Trophy, symbolic of Power’s win in this year’s Indianapolis 500.
Power on Thursday was at the Tryon, North Carolina studio of noted artist and sculptor William Behrends to complete the finishing touches on the clay model of his face and head.
From there, Behrends will create a miniature version of Power’s likeness to be placed on the Borg-Warner Trophy, which is set to be unveiled December 5 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
“It’s actually really cool to come in the first time and see your face there,” Power told MotorSportsTalk. “All the experiences that goes with the Indy 500 are just all great, and it’s amazing I’m sitting there getting my face sculpted to go on the Borg Warner.”
Power discussed the procedure Behrends went through with him.
“He took photos the day after the race, multiple ones, all the way around my face, the whole periphery of it,” he said. “And then he started sculpting the clay face we see right now, my head.
“And then he had me sit there to get it closer. It’s pretty good as it is, but yeah, he sits there and works on it until he thinks it’s right-on. That’s why he had me there in-person.”
Does it look like you, Will?
“Yes, yes. It was funny, because you’re always looking in the mirror and it’s a reverse of your face,” he said. “No one’s face is completely symmetrical.
“It is funny seeing yourself for the first time like you can almost say in the flesh, an actual model of your face and it looks different from what you expect.”
Power was a perfect subject, Behrends said.
“Oh, he’s a wonderful subject, just a very affable, easy-going guy,” Behrends said. “He was very good company during the sittings.
“These sittings I think, are rather difficult for the subject just because he’s just sitting there. I’m working, but the subject has to sit there for long periods of time.
“But Will’s very, very cooperative and very easy-going and we had some very nice conversations.”
Power will be the 29th image that Behrends has created for the Borg-Warner Trophy, dating back to his first effort in 1990 with Arie Luyendyk.
“It doesn’t seem like it, but it’s that many years,” Behrends said. “This is the only thing I do that I’ve done more than once. All of my pieces are one-of-a-kind. But it becomes a regular thing on my calendar of the Fall.”
Behrends explained how the process has worked for nearly the last three decades. It starts with taking photos the day after the Indy 500 to rough drafting and sculpting the model, to having the winning driver come to his studio to do some final touches (as Power did Thursday), and then taking the completed clay model and replicating it to be placed on the trophy.
“There’s really three different parts of the process for my work. I’ll spend 3-4 days here, and then two weeks later, I’ll spend a couple more days, so it’s broken up. I guess if I stacked it all together, it’d be about 2-3 (full-time) weeks’ work of different types.”
After Thursday, seeing the finished product that will eventually be placed on the trophy, Power now has yet another bit of inspiration and motivation to win the Indy 500 again.
“You understand everything that goes into winning that race,” Power said. “(To be on the trophy) will be a lot of great satisfaction and gives you a lot of motivation because you want to go through this process again because it’s such a cool process.”
Here are some more tweets from Thursday’s session at Behrends’ studio for Power: