Posted on November 8, 2016
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At Lola Bikes, we are obviously big fans of the bicycle. It is a beautiful object – nearly two billion are in use around the world for work, sport and play. As riders and designers, we clearly find them inspiring, but we also really love discovering what other creative minds do with this two-wheeled machine. Below is a sample of some works that take the bicycle into another realm, sometimes leaving it whole, sometimes adding to it, and sometimes using it in multiples to stunning effect. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Cherubim Bikes by Shinichi Konno
Bicycles and craftsmanship are all in the family for Cherubim. Shinichi Konno is a second-generation master bike builder at Konno Bicycle Works in Tokyo and produces their brand of handmade bicycles, Cherubim. Founded in 1965 by Hitoshi Konno, Shinichi’s father, the shop supplied cycles for the 1968 Olympic team. Konno, a multiple award winning bicycle designer, and Simon Taylor from UK based art and design collective Tomato, collaborated together on a new design that seeks to create revolution in the evolving two-hundred year history of bicycle design. The result is their retro-modernist Hummingbird. The design went on to win both Best of Show and President's Choice at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) 2012. These smooth-riding, steel-framed beauties are surely the epitome of art on two wheels.
Cycling Portraits by Karl Kopinski
Credit: Karl Kopinski
Kopinski and his portrait series first came to light when Sir Paul Smith featured him in his gallery and then subsequently used a number of Kopinski’s works in Paul Smith’s Cycling Scrapbook. Born and raised in Nottingham, England, Kopinski’s series of cycling greats such as Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Mercxx captures the grueling effort as they push themselves and their machines to the limit. The oil paintings are done mostly in muted tones, but there is nothing understated about the emotion he managed to capture so well between brush and canvas.
Velocipedia by Gianluca Gimini
Credit: Gianluca Gimini
Italian-American artist, Gianluca Gimini, once challenged a friend to draw a bicycle. As the machine took shape on the napkin between them, Gimini saw a design that was non-functional but beautiful. So began an experiment of asking family, friends and strangers alike to do the same. Over the course of seven years, Gimini collected hundreds of these memory drawings, some of which he turned into 3D works of art. Bulbous tires, oddly shaped frames, and strangely tilting seats are all par for the course for these fantastical machines that capture a kind of everyday whimsy we love.
Bike for Life by Manu Campa
Credit: Manu Campa
Spanish artist Manu Campa finds his art in his passions: bicycles, cars, and the weaving streets of his hometown, Madrid. It is, though, his work with bicycles that we find particularly fascinating. An avid cyclist, Campa rides to his studio in the city center every day on one of a handful of lovingly restored vintage steel frame bikes. It is these he renders into hyper-realistic portraits of the bicycles and the setting for them that he loves so dearly. It’s easy to imagine gripping the cool, smooth chrome of the handlebars and heading out for a leisurely ride.