Here's a box of 100 high-performance bicycle components. Go make something amazing from them.
That's the challenge Chicago-based bike-parts company SRAM threw at a group of handpicked artists, who responded by molding everything from figurative sculptures of weird and beautiful bike-gear creatures to abstract collages that blend paint with cranksets and chains.
Their works will be auctioned off tomorrow, November 29, at the Cedar Lake Theatre in New York City, with all proceeds going to World Bicycle Relief, a charity that provides bicycles to the underprivileged in Africa. Scroll through our gallery to see just a handful of the inventive works and you might just think twice about throwing out that greasy bike chain in the corner of your garage.
Made of hand-carved wood and modified machine parts (with a few colored feathers tossed in) Michael Whiting's "Future primitive mask" melds primitive art with a futuristic robotics aesthetic. The California artist likes to explore the relationship between the real and the virtual, and his work often hints at the influence of technology in daily life.
Artist Valerie Fanarjian's been fascinated by machinery ever since she ran a sawmill in the Catskill Mountains. She sees inherent beauty in a well-engineered pulley or piece of gear, and finds fascinating the juxtaposition of machines' overall strength with the vulnerability of their individual parts.
"My use of tissue, thread, and paper to make the parts appear fragile and delicate was an attempt to show how weakness and strength, complexity and simplicity, coexist, in so many applications, in both the physical and non-physical world," she explains of the piece "Circular Logic."
While many of the works created for Part Project tend toward the whimsical, Laura Evans' "Seven Sisters (for Jevon)" is anything but. Jevon is the name of Evans' cousin who, at age 30, died in a bike accident in Little Rock, Ark., this summer. The Seven Sisters refers to the Pleaides constellation.
"As I was working on this, it made more sense to me to make a group of pieces rather than one large sculpture," the Boston artist tells Crave. "The shapes that I knit began to resemble stars, so that's where the idea for seven of them came from... We are part of a large extended family, so making a 'family' group seemed appropriate."
Evans made her "stars" by blending bike parts with nylon cording and acrylic.