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Euskaltel (… Art and Bikes #2)

April 10, 2012

I’ve written previously about art and bikes and my current plan for a local artist to paint something for me that encapsulates my rides is currently taking shape.  I was very much interested today to learn of the above picture “Euskaltel” which is a commission that has recently been done by the British Artist Chris Billington.

I was interested in it for a couple of reasons, firstly the whole art and bikes thing and secondly as it is about the Euskaltel Euskadi cycling team who are one of my favs.  I’ll be honest I was first drawn to them as they race in a distinctive orange and black kit which is not a million miles away from my beloved Newport County’s amber and black but they then got a lot more interesting for me for the following reasons:  They are a basque team and currently only have riders riding for them who are basque or who’s cycling development took place in the basque country; since they were set up in 1993 they have been run by Fundacion Euskadi a non profit organisation established to promote cycling in the Basque country (a somewhat different beast to our own Sky team); they ride Orbea bikes and Orbea are part of the Mondragon Corporation which is a federation of around 250 worker co-operatives employing around 80,000 people (and my niece who last year came 7th in the World Junior Triathlon Championships in Budapest rides an Orbea); finally the fans who along with the Flemish are probably the most passionate bike fans out there and whenever the races head into the Pyrenees turn the mountainsides orange as they cheer on their Euskaltel Euskadi team as the picture below clearly demonstrates

Photo Credit: Jon Devich

I think that the commission perfectly sums up the spirit of the team as it (represented by the orange blobs) heads up into the snow capped Pyrenees.  Perhaps the bold colours of the painting might not be to everyones taste but I really like it and Chris has this to say about his client’s reaction to the painting:

When my client finally saw “Euskaltel”for the first time she was absolutely stunned and delighted, and told me that it was the most beautiful painting that she had ever seen, in fact she went even further and told me that my colours were a reason to wake up in the morning. Going on to tell me that “Euskaltel” made her want to “Dive into the painting and swim around in my colours and get drunk on them” made me very happy indeed.

To create something that gets that reaction must be very satisfying and it makes me wonder how I will feel when my painting is done, can’t wait.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2012 7:05 pm

    I am also so very intrigued with cycling and art. I think think that the bike itself is so beautiful; it is a piece of art on its own. I love when art is exemplifying not just the bike, but instead the sport, team, or individual. Really great post I would love to see when your painting is done.

    • Ian Street permalink*
      April 10, 2012 7:36 pm

      thanks for the comment and I totally agree with you. Rest assured the painting will be blogged about on here when it’s done. Cheers Ian

      • April 11, 2012 12:58 am

        Thanks Ian, I really think you should stick with this art and bike thing I really like the implications it carries.

  2. April 10, 2012 9:48 pm

    I just posted a link to your article to the Facebook page of The Slow Bicycle Movement as I think their ethos should entitle them to be honorary slow cyclists :) http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/19375798739/
    Andrew

    • Ian Street permalink*
      April 11, 2012 8:44 am

      Cheers Andrew although not sure Sammy Sanchez the current Olympic road champion who rides for Euskaltel would like to be called slow he he :-)

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