Taliah Lempert

The mechanical beauty of bicycles is captured beautifully by NYC based artist Taliah Lempert.

Arone

Arone

Arone is a good friend of mine and this is her lovely blue bike. The bike belonged to my boyfriend in the 1980s. After him it went through a few owners and years in storage and turned up, for a while, with our friend Arone. I’m not sure where it is now.

Dave

Dave

My friend Dave built this monster bike frame to fit the 29” wheels.

Evelyn Stevens

Evelyn Stevens

Evelyn Stevens is the pride of the NYC racing scene. This was the bike she was racing with HTC Columbia in 2010. It was so cool to work with her bike and made it even more fun to see her in the Olympics this summer.

Heather

Heather

Heather’s my favorite champion. My old riding buddy is a super star at messenger races. She won this handbuilt frame in one of her many Monster Track victories. It’s beautiful and fast, perfect for Heather!

Jase

Jase

Jase, a long time NYer, was originally from the Midwest. He commissioned this portrait after he was diagnosed with ALS. As he lost his mobility he depended on the bike using it like a walker or wheel chair. When I picked up the bike, we rode together, me on the Schwinn and him on the electric, from Chelsea through Soho. I was amazed at his graceful composure while riding. I was moved by what cycling meant to him. And how this bike, so beat up, was so precious.

Jocko

Jocko

Jocko’s around town bike.

Michael

Michael

I took Michael bike shopping and we found this beauty. We met in the mid 1990s working as decorative painters. In 2000 he hosted the first show of my bicycle paintings in his beautiful Soho loft.

Robert

Robert

This was a sketch of Robert’s bars before a larger painting of the whole bike. It’s one of my very favorites.

Ryan

Ryan

Ryan is a lovely guy with terrific style and builds up semi remarkable frames into graceful machines.

Thomas

Thomas

I like the suggestion of texture that a detail sometimes gives you. This is a detail of Thomas’s bike, with a great saddle and bars.

Track Tandem

Track Tandem

This tandem was built for the American team in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne

Andy

Andy

Andy Hampsten is an Ohio born pro cyclist. He rode this bike to victory in the 1988 GIro d’Italia.

When did you first ride a two-wheeler and what are your earliest memories and associations with bikes?

Before I could ride, I remember wanting my brother’s bike and to be able to ride it. He always had cool bikes. My dad is an avid cyclist so bikes were a big part of life growing up. My earliest bike memories are riding in the trailer with my sister while my dad got in miles, pulling us all over the countryside. We’d sit and chat, we were probably four and five. We did that a lot.

What draws you to a particular bike as a subject matter? Is it the bike itself, its aesthetics, or the rider, the owner and the experiences you know they have had on the bike?

I look at a bike and I can feel the brushstrokes. Something in the turn of a wheel the arc of the cables calls for me to record it. I like the design. Some bikes are especially aesthetically appealing. It’s interesting to look at different styles of bikes and different eras. I don’t need to know the owner, but it’s nice when I do. It’s exciting to paint race bikes that were part of a pro race, it’s cool to paint bikes that have importance to someone, whoever they are. I love the different ways that cycling and bicycles fit into lives. I like to see wear on the bike.

“I love the different ways that cycling and bicycles fit into lives.”

Can you tell us about the bikes you love and the kind of bike riding you like to do?

My newest favourite is a bamboo bike I built myself. I use it for transportation and also for road, it’s awesome. It could be half as nice and I’d still love it. I also have two steel road bikes that are getting ignored lately, one for the street and one that doesn’t get locked outside. I have a great old Bob Jackson that I raced on the track. My racing days are probably over. I raced for about seven seasons and loved it. Lately I’ve gone out to the track to watch races and a couple times to train. Some of my friends are getting into it. Crap Shlepper is a bike I use a lot. It has baskets and racks and is great for getting groceries, art supplies and carrying around a lot of stuff. There’s also a big, wonderful cargo bike that I use for carrying lots and lots of stuff, especially on the weekends when I sell my stuff at the markets.

How does NYC influence your work and your cycling?

It all works together. NYC is an inspiring place to live. Everyone is doing something and there’s so much to see. Riding around for transportation and for sport, the bike affects how I know the city and all of that informs my pieces.

 

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