Tour de France Art Bikes

As a road cycling enthusiast, I could not be more excited about this year’s Tour de France and the artist designed bikes Lance Armstrong will be riding to support the Livestrong Cancer Foundation.

Marc Newson, Damien Hirst, Kaws, Yoshimoto Nara, Kenny Scharf,  Shepard Fairey and others have all contributed designs.

Newson’s bike design was used in the Monaco time trial, which kicked off this year’s Tour de France on 4 July, while Hirst’s bike (pictured below), which features a butterfly design, will be used for the final stage in Paris on 26 July.

A touring art exhibition, Stages, will open in Paris on 16 July, featuring work by artists including Fairey, Caroline Opie and Ed Ruscha, and inspired by Armstrong’s battle against cancer. The exhibition will also visit New York, Los Angeles and Portland.

Lance had a somewhat oblique reaction after seeing the Hirst bike and  Twitter’d that he was “speechless” and later “My-Oh-my.”  To which I say,  “Lance, are you familiar at all with Damien Hirst?  You got butterflies. ”

Damien Hirst Tour De France Bike

Studio Visits

Brancusi in his Studio

Brancusi in his Studio

One of the absolute best parts of what we do here at Art Initiative is being invited in to an artist’s studio to see the progress of a particular piece,  or simply to hang out and  see what they’re currently working on.  From the music playing, to the stuff tacked up on the walls as inspiration,  it’s all an authentic reflection of the artist and the work.  We’ve really enjoyed getting to know our artists in this really personal way, and we have some great stories.  Once, our German Shepherd who was invited along on a studio visit,  lumbered along the surface of a wet oil painting  at a dear friend’s studio and wore the bottom of the painting home.   Luckily, the artist thought it was hilarious and we joked about making a  quick monoprint.  Perhaps  one of the most amazing studio visits EVER is the Renzo Piano designed Atelier Brancusi at the Pompidou Centre in Paris.   A faithful reconconstruction of the artist’s 15th arrondisement studio, the viewer is able to experience the contents of the studio as Brancusi had arranged them.  To see his tools hanging on the wall was incredibly powerful!

There are a couple of great books out there that illustrate the experience of  the studio visit by photographing notable artists’ working spaces-this one is my favorite:

Artists at Work by David Seidner and Diana Edkins

We’re Cultivating!

Welcome! A little background…Art Initiative is a group of Atlanta-based  art consultants placing site-specific artwork on projects worldwide. We are completely obsessed with all things art and design here, and since we’re asked  quite a lot what sorts of things inspire us, we thought it would be fun to put it all out here-artists we love, architecture and design that knocks us out, and whatever else we think is amazing and makes us happy to share it!    Why ‘Culivators’ you ask? Well, we’re located in an old plow factory in downtown Atlanta called the King Plow Arts Center, and that sign in the header photo you see above…well I walk by it every single day and think about that word  ‘Cultivators’.   I love it.  We’re all really cultivators, ultimately. So what are you cultivatin’?  Let us know. We’d love to hear from you!