News / Arts & Entertainment

New York's Bike Sculptures Promote Urban Art, Cycling

Mexican artist Gilberto Aceves Navarro poses for a portrait with two of his bicycle sculptures in New York City, June 30, 2014.
Mexican artist Gilberto Aceves Navarro poses for a portrait with two of his bicycle sculptures in New York City, June 30, 2014.
Reuters

An 82-year-old Mexican artist is hoping that 122 bicycle sculptures he has erected around New York City will get people on their bikes, spur an interest in urban art and create greener, healthier cities.

Each steel sculpture by Gilberto Aceves Navarro weighs up to 1,200 pounds (550 kilos), is from six to eight feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) high and features large bicycles with disproportionately smaller cyclists in different poses.

The works installed along a 10-mile (16-km) bike route linking lower Manhattan, downtown Brooklyn and riverside promenades are part of the urban exhibit called "Las Bicicletas" that began on Tuesday and runs to Sept. 30.

"This is the biggest outdoor sculpture series by a single artist ever assembled in New York," Emily Colasacco, the art director of the city's department of transportation, said about the sculptures.

"It's a great opportunity to highlight urban art, our bike infrastructure and waterfront bike lanes," she told Reuters.

Aceves Navarro began drawing bicycles when he was just six years old. His work has been shown in more than 200 exhibits and his murals are featured in Mexico, Japan and the United States. He mounted the first "Las Bicicletas" in 2008 in Mexico City.

"I want people to have contact [with the bicycles] every day and take away a memory of something different, of what, they're not sure exactly," the artist said in an interview. "Seeing something distinct ... that will open the doors of perception and this is important."

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to view the sculptures in New York at sites including the Manhattan Bridge and near the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with its view of the New York skyline that has been captured in Hollywood films.

"We have to create new conditions to use bicycles instead of cars," the artist said. "Cars are harmful and terrible ... with their great noise, fumes and congestion."

The biggest hit of the Mexico City exhibit was the 75-bicycle sculpture set end-to-end in the city's historic Alameda Park. Each day thousands of visitors tapped the sculptures, which gave off a gong sound.

"They loved seeing them, touching them and sounding them many times," he said.

Aceves Navarro said the exhibition encouraged more cycling in the city, along with a local expansion of bike routes and a government campaign to promote cycling in the Mexican capital.

Although the sculptures in the New York show will be different, he hopes they will have the same impact.

"The cyclist will be smaller in dimension and proportion in comparison with the bicycle," he explained. "I want to make the bicycle stand out more as formidable."

The sculpture will also be about four times heavier and 50 percent thicker to meet New York's hurricane-resistant regulations, according to Juan Aceves, the artist's son.

He said the New York exhibit will be followed by another urban art show of bicycles next year in Chicago and in Denmark in 2016.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

Singer Leyla McCalla takes up not only the guitar, but the banjo and cello to perform songs from her new disc, “A Tribute to Langston Hughes,” music that mixes the Creole rhythms of Haiti with the French Quarter flavor of New Orleans on this edition of "The Hamilton Live."