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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."