Thanks to my Dutch heritage, I grew up in the Netherlands: the country with the highest number of bikes per capita for part of my life. Nowhere is as well established for cycling as the Netherlands, with its extensive network of roads and paths dedicated specifically to cycling. Many places can only be accessed by bike.
Growing up with cycling as a mode of transport and sport, it was only natural for me to incorporate one of the country’s iconic artists, Piet Mondrian. Mondrian was one of the giants of the 20th-century Modernist movement. His minimalist approach in both colour and form (he used only primary colours) was so distinct that it came to be known as ‘Mondrianism’. His style and philosophy influenced the modern art movement in Paris at the time.
The bicycle mirrors many of the minimalist qualities and geometry of Mondrianism in that it is a machine of pure form and function. It felt quite natural to merge the two into a composition using the same primary colours Mondrian did. It’s no small coincidence Mondrian was the inspiration behind the now classic designs of the La Vie Claire race jerseys worn by the likes of France’s cycling legends Bernard Hinault and first Tour de France winner, Greg Le Mond. This is a great addition to any art collection regardless of whether you cycle.
In this piece, the distinct classic Dutch bicycle’s bold black outlines define the same primary colours Mondrian applied. No wonder this is a popular design in the Netherlands.