When it comes to the merging of art and bicycles, it’s hard to top Monseur Duchamp’s “Bicycle Wheel.”
Not only was it the first of his “Readymades” but it’s said to be the first kinetic sculpture.
Yeah, it’s just a bike fork and front wheel mounted upside-down on a wooden stool. But I love it.
And so did he. One day in 1913 he mounted the wheel on the stool and would occasionally sit there and spin it, staring at it for a little amusement and mental break.
“I enjoyed looking at it,” he said. “Just as I enjoy looking at the flames dancing in the fireplace.”
Any one of us should understand. Who among us hasn’t gone to the garage (or wherever we fiddle with our bikes) to do some maintenance and, after everything’s put back together, given the wheel a nice spin just to watch it? Feels like all is right when that thing spins smoothly, around and around.
So I got this miniature model and put it on the mantel. Because one can never get too much of that simple, primal, wheel-spinning-around joy.