In celebration of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts‘ (MIA) 100th birthday year, Handsome Cycles have reinterpreted some of the gallery’s most famous masterpieces as fully-functional, art-influenced bicyles. creative agencies Knock, Inc. and Treat and Company have collaborated with the Minneapolis-based bike builders to aesthetically and creatively reflect three artworks into custom rides sourced from the MIA’s permanent collection. The limited edition, commemorative bicycles include visual and abstract translations of paintings by Claude Monet and Frank Stella, as well as the 1948 Tatra T87 sedan.
Claude Monet’s grainstack, Sun in the mist (1891): capturing the delicate touch and intricacy in Monet’s grainstack painting was quite the challenge. We wanted to let the paint speak for itself in this piece. Our painter (Dirt Designs graphics), used multiple layers and a precision hand to execute the complicated finish of this bike. The rest of the bike is kept intentionally simplistic to highlight the complexity of the paint, while only adding elements that enhance it’s rural and natural feel.
1969 Frank Stella, Tahkt-i-Sulayman, variation II: playing with color, lines and circles is fun. For this piece, based on Frank Stella’s ‘Tahkt-i-Sulayman, variation II’, we looked to capture the essence of the painting in his simplistic approach. This bike is all out there in full detail with nothing to hide. This was visually the most ‘fun piece of the three. If you would like a quick art lesson, the MIA has provided this: part of a series he painted based on a protractor; each was named after circular cities and architectural sites he visited in the middle east in the 60s. Tahkt-i-Sulayman is an ancient shrine in Azerbaijan, Iran.
Hans Ledwinka, Tatra T-87 four-door sedan, 1948 (designed 1936): for this piece, we set out to capture the curvature and finish of this iconic feat of design. The sweeping circular lines and smooth polished finish of the body were captured with the full rear fender and skirt as well as the sweeping drop bars. We paid homage to the striking front lights on the car and the innovation in design and technology employed by Ledwinka, by including a front hub dynamo powered classic front light. Finally it was finished off with a honey saddle and bar tape to match the cars striking interior.
All images courtesy of KNOCK Inc.