Tuesday, November 3, 2009

the butterfly and the bicycle

How many butterflies died in the making of this Hirst-Armstrong-Trek bicycle? I prefer Damien Hirst's shark, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991). The shark shows some understanding of the essence of life (and death) and fear and decay and nature and the sublime... lots of things really.

The Trek is something a little girl might do with her first bicycle and a sheet full of butterfly wing stickers from the supermarket. It is unimaginative and completely ignores the form of the machine. It is considerably less than I would expect from an artist of Hirst's reputation. It is of course big news (it even makes it onto this blog for instance) because it is a Hirst, and an Armstrong, and for "a good cause". But not because it is good. Disappointing.

This Marc Newson TT bike really works I think. For the most part the bike has been left alone, but its disc is rounder than round. At first I thought the design a little gimmicky but it is growing on me. It doesn't interfere with the bike's lines (which I have to say, coming from Trek are not in and of themselves anything to write home about – Trek should look at Pinarello or Ridley or even Specialized dare I say it, to see how to make a lovely and fast TT machine) but it adds a kind of rolling oomph to the machine, like it is being propelled from the rear towards warp speed. Whilst quite geometric, the design is simultaneously very organic. A good crossover point between the human and his machine. I love this one!

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