A Jean Michel Basquiat Bike

Spotted this Jean Michel Basquiat bike on the starting line of the Pro 123 men at Ronde Ohop. We’ve posted about art bikes, covered Trek’s projects, and more, but haven’t seen anything quite like this.

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Recognized the name when starting to take photos at the start line

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The whole livery line bow is a famous Basquiat quote

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The head tube graphic resembles this untitled work

Basquiat is an American artist whose started with graffiti in New York City in the late 1970s, and in the 1980s he produced Neo-expressionist painting. From his collaborations with Warhol to appearing in the Blondie rapture video, you’ve likely seen his work.

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When we were in Rome, these posters were everywhere. I’m inquiring further now ‘cause that’s not a bike you see every day and another facet of bike culture.

See the full-rez photos of the Jean Michel Basquiat Race Bike on Flickr and Google Plus.



8 Comments

Pretty certain it’s a Landshark. He’s done at least one Basquiat bike. It’s almost certainly not an officially authorized item - can’t see Gerard Basquiat authorizing this.

There is no way Basquiats estate would go for this and if they did it would cost a fortune. I can’t see Landshark doing it though seems like a real fast way to get some sort of intellectual property suit thrown at you.

Maybe it was a homage from the owner. I was just taking photos and didn’t realize what I shot until processing the photos or I’d have asked the owner more about it.

I think most likely an homage by the owner a pretty good one to boot.

Landshark most definitely have done a Basquiat bike. He used to have a picture of it on his site and if you do a Google Images search for “Basquiat Landshark” you’ll find it.

As for an intellectual property suit, the art world really doesn’t work that way (unlike corporate brands). Only time an artist (or in this case their estate) goes after someone is if they try to use the artists work for commercial gain on a significant scale (such as featuring their work in an ad). It’s not worth their time and expense to go after someone painting a bike or even selling t-shirts and you can often find people hawking bootleg Basquiat shirts right in front of the MoMA. They’ll also sue if you try to pass off a counterfeit as an original though in the case of Basquiat they don’t even bother with the second instance and instead simply refuse to authenticate the work which effectively kills any chance of selling it as authentic. There are a LOT of art works people claim as authentic Basquiat work and they usually involve some kind of story about it being a gift from JMB before he made it big and you can often find these works on e-Bay. There’s a good chance some of them really are authentic given how Basquiat lived but Gerard will not authenticate anything not already in his warehouse or in the hands of a known dealer or collector. He may not have cared much about his son while he was alive but he keeps an iron grip on him now that he’s dead.

Here’s another <a >view of the bike on Flickr.</a>

This is my bike, it used to be covered in wood tape to give it a nice oak look, but I grew tired of it so spray painted it black and went to town with some paints, Jean Michel Basquiat is my favorite painter so i decided to give some homage. Its a kona underneath and about 20 other paint jobs built up. I’m too lazy to strip the old paint each time I re paint.

P.S. about to start painting the cross bikes for the season, watch for those.

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