Thursday, 23 June 2011

Bike Week - Street art or annoying intrusion?

How did this bike get so rusty, and why is it abandoned? In fact it's advertising. Take an old bike, customise it without making it valuable, and leave it locked up to a street sign. It's been done before, with old bikes sprayed the same colour all over. Rusty chic is a logical progression. Notice how this is a perfectly functional bike, with everything apparently in reasonable working order, except there are no brakes. Perhaps it's a fixed-wheeler and doesn't need brakes? No, it just doesn't need brakes because it's not going anywhere. The front wheel and a discreet logo are the clues to what it's advertising - zoom in to the picture if you want to find out. Westminster council are clearly not amused, that's a Notice of Removal of an Abandoned Bicycle attached to the crossbar. So is it cynical exploitation, littering the streets with yet more commercial overload, or does it provide a little harmless street art - probably without having any useful advertising value?

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