are sometimes smooth and silky, and other times tired and tight.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Updated Homage

Scan art history, and you'll see plenty of works inspired by bicycles and cyclists, from Boccioni, Calder, Hopper, Picasso, Hirst, and on, and on.

Perhaps the most famous work of 'bicycle art' is Marcel Duchamp's assisted readymade Bicycle Wheel. Even your average philistine racer/cycling enthusiast knows this work, even if they don't know it's art.

The piece is simple: it's a an upside down steel fork, with wheel (sans tire), inserted into the seat of a wooden stool. Give the wheel a turn, and enjoy. Duchamp likened it to looking watching the flames of a fire. These days, if you attempt to turn the wheel of the 1951 recreation of the original 1913 original, you'll get a reprimand from the guards at MOMA.

Never fear, you can now spin without worry. An artist (whose name I failed to discover, perhaps the media sensation of the fair?) has updated Duchamp's wheel. This time it's an aluminum stool, a carbon fiber fork (made by Pro), with a disc wheel, and a tubular tire. My initial impression was that it was a clever update, but the details (like the choice of an Ultegra hub) took some of the shine away. I won't even comment on what looks to be inspired by early Kieth Haring subway ad drawings graphic on the disc).

In case you didn't find yourself in Madrid last week, and want to look at the 'flames', here's hoping this suffices.


Anonymous said...

This is rather interesting.

I think the artist makes a lot of statements with the choices he made for the including the hub that you did not like. I thought it (the hub) to be commentary on the mass production and branding of products in today society.

c2 said...

You mean it's not a real disc but a disc cover??? Disqualified!...

@BehoovingMoving said...

I just found your blog and am delighted I'm not the only one thinking about bikes from an art world perspective.