You’ve seen them around town. But- what are they? I’ve started giving them nicknames, myself.
I looked it up (thanks WYDaily!) and found out that they are part of a traveling art exhibit. May was bike month in Williamsburg, and this coming October the UCI Road World Bike Championships will be held in Richmond (there will be related bike events in Williamsburg, too).
The sculptures were created by a Mexican artist, Gilberto Aceves Navarro. Basically, he thinks bicycles are a crucial element to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels- and he also loves the feeling of being on a bike- the freedom, the wind in your hair, the possibilities of where you’ll go. So he made paintings of figures riding bikes to convey that feeling, and then they were enlarged, cut out of metal, and made into sculptures. It’s all explained in this video:
Here’s a few of my favorite quotes from the video if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing:
I conceived the bicycles this way: as a way to relate families and their environment. People work in somewhat inhumane, enclosed spaces, so my interest was to give them a more humane connection to the environment. How do I represent this in a formal artistic proposal? By finding ways to make bicycles that look like bicycles, but are not exact portraits, yet convey the idea of a bike. They are vehicles of happiness, vehicles of health. Their shape gives me peace, because it’s smooth and without bumps. . . . Being as old as I am now, I can’t ride my bike 14 hours a day anymore, but I can do what I am doing, thinking how can the bicycles help us have a better existence.
For more details about the project and where it goes when it leaves Williamsburg in October, check out the website: Las Bicicletas.
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