NEW YORK – Martinez Gallery presents an exhibition at Brooklyn Bike and Board, which will be converted into a gallery by the Dutch design team Kaptein Roodnat. Ten ma jor graffiti â€˜kingsâ€™ have created 10 original works using bikes as their walls and trains. Case2 used to â€˜pieceâ€™ the trains — paint the cars top to bottom — in the 1970s and â€˜80s â€œjust so I
could see my name go by.â€ The work in this show lets him and his fellow artists/vandals drive the train and show their work throughout the city.
Even before they were painted, all the bikes in the show met Brooklyn B&B owner Brian Gluckâ€™s vision of beauty through function. â€œBicycles are machines that should make your life easier and improve your livelihood. Like those stupid little short handlebars… they donâ€™t make any sense. Youâ€™re not going to fit in between cars that are narrower than your
hips and shoulders anyway. Theyâ€™re not functional, theyâ€™re dysfunctional.â€ Most of the storeâ€™s bikes have been recycled from â€œancient rustbuckets brought back to life.â€
Graffiti kings painting well-designed bikes, however, layers new form onto function. The show celebrates transforma tion, from rusty junk to refurbished bike to art object. It also celebrates mobility, accessibility, and freedom. Look at any courier and that package in your hands for proof that a bike can get you around the city faster than a car or a subway.
And now that a monthly MetroCard costs more than 100 bucks, workers of all collars are opting for bike commuting.
Derelict â€“ cast-off bikes â€“ meets derelict â€“ repeat offender artist — in RE: CYCLES. Ironically, they meet in rapidly gen trifying Prospect Heights â€“ but itâ€™s an irony entirely appro priate for bicycles. Originally a plaything of the rich, bicycles are now the livelihood of the delivery guy, the cardio workout of the hedge fund trader, and the great hope of urban
Similarly, graffiti confounds art as a rich manâ€™s game. It steals its canvas from the city, and its geniuses land in jail. (Graffiti is a felony.) Two DIY cultures merge in RE: CYCLE, resulting in art that gets you around. Gluck says of painted bikes, â€œYou donâ€™t have to spend $400 on a wheel set to look cool or to look â€˜customâ€™ (and, usually, like everyone else).
The sharpies and spray paint used on these bikes are accessible to anyone and will make your bike a piece of art.â€ And that piece is always moving, always visible.
To showcase the mobility and to fill the gap left by museums prevented from showing art by criminals, the show will roll up one day each week in front of various cultural and civic institutions, including MOMA, the Met, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney Museum.
CASE 2 (NYC)
FLINT 707 (NYC)
MOSCO (Mexico City)
SINER (Los Angeles)
WITNES (Los Angeles)
RE:CYCLES is on view 13 November – 31 January 2011,
Tuesdays â€“ Sundays 9AM â€“ 9PM / Martinez Gallery
c/o Brooklyn Bike & Board, 560 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, 212-619-2149, firstname.lastname@example.org