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Bike parts get artists' imaginations in gear

When a bike components company challenges artists to create sculptures and collages from bicycle parts, expect the unexpected. Like deer skulls and one-person circus machines.

It's a mask made from bike parts and an altered deer skull. We can't vouch for its comfort. Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector

You know that greasy bike chain sitting in the corner of your garage? Take a look at the below gallery of original art made from bicycle components, and you might think twice about getting rid of it.

Chicago-based bike parts company SRAM gave a group of handpicked artists a box each of 100 high-performance bicycle components and told them to craft something amazing. They responded with everything from a bike-centric interpretation of Vincent van Gogh's famous "Starry Night" to a robotic ostrich, a crawling "Sramantis," and your typical Mary Jane-wearing bike chain quadruped with a plastic baby head.

The works, more than 80 in all, will be auctioned off tomorrow at the Cedar Lake Theatre in New York City, with all proceeds going to World Bicycle Relief, a charity that provides bikes to the underprivileged in Africa. The grand-prize winner of the SRAM contest will receive an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the continent to witness the work of the organization firsthand.

Take a ride through our gallery to see just a few of the inventive works created by this year's crop of SRAM artists. Then see what comes to mind next time you look at your cranksets and handlebars.

(Via My Modern Met)