From Injury to Art; Taylor Phinney’s Hand-painted Teammachine
In the world of professional bike racing, BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney has always stood out as an expressive character, never afraid to start fashion trends or display his individuality. His newest endeavor combines his love of the bicycle with a new passion he discovered during his recovery from the injury he sustained at the 2014 US National Championships – painting.
“When we became aware of Taylor’s growing passion for art, we immediately saw a unique opportunity to showcase his talents and work to benefit his father’s nonprofit, the Davis Phinney Foundation,” said Chris McLaren, Managing Director of BMC Switzerland in North America. BMC provided Taylor with a blank, unpainted SLR01 frameset, just like the one he races for the BMC Racing Team, and he spent countless hours expressing his own unique creative talent on the carbon “canvas.” This sweepstakes promises to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease and the important work done by the Davis Phinney Foundation.The result is a one-of-a-kind BMC bike that will be given away to the lucky rider who wins a sweepstakes organized with VeloNews. “With VeloNews’ dedicated and engaged fan base of riders, this sweepstakes promises to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease and the important work done by the Davis Phinney Foundation to help improve the lives of sufferers of the disease,” said McLaren.
Velonews’ John Bradley recently interviewed Phinney and explored how the racer’s path to recovery helped him find art. “One thing Phinney discovered was an indefatigable need to express himself. Given his often flamboyant hair and outfits, this might seem obvious. But, prior to the accident, Phinney’s main form of expression had always been his physical ability. Robbed of that, he started looking down other avenues for the first time in his life. Phinney’s painting style is a mash-up of abstractionism and the street-art-inspired expressionism of Jean-Michel Basquiat.That led him, initially, to flying lessons and art.” Commenting on the characteristics of his work, Bradley notes that “Phinney’s painting style is a mash-up of abstractionism and the street-art-inspired expressionism of Jean-Michel Basquiat. It’s raw and unstudied, but, as when he first jumped on a bike, there is no denying the underlying talent. The self-indulgence actually serves him well. He’s naturally talented enough that he can follow his own instincts to some spectacular ends.”
We caught up with Phinney in his art studio in Boulder Colorado as he prepared for the upcoming AMGEN Tour of California, and asked him about his recent painting project.
Tempo: What inspired you to take on this project?
TP: I was inspired to do the bike simply because I’d never painted a bike before. I wanted to see what I could do with it. My main goal was to make it look like no bike I had ever seen before. I think I accomplished that. There’s a lot of different layers of paint on there. A lot of stuff that I painted over. I was just playing with it, trying to figure it out. My main goal was to make it look like no bike I had ever seen before. I think I accomplished that. It was an interesting process, but I’m happy with the way that it turned out. I think it’s pretty weird and that’s all I ever wanted.
Tempo: Is there any symbolism in the designs you used?
TP: There’s definitely some meaning in all of the details. It would take too long to go in depth though. The primary colors are represented. I thought that was important. I definitely drew some inspiration from the city of Los Angeles. The east side of LA. I was there for most of the time I was painting the bike. I worked on it for about a month. Not straight through, but over the course of a month.
Tempo: What medium did you use to create this work of art?
TP: Mostly acrylic paint. Some oil paint sticks. Some oil crayon. There’s some pieces of paper in there, kind of like a collage, but it’s mostly acrylic.
Tempo: Do you listen to music while painting or do you prefer quiet?
TP: I was listening to a lot of David August. He’s a DJ from Berlin. He’s a great artist. I also listened to a lot of Beach House music which is a totally different vibe. Finally, Nicholas Jar is always present on my mind if I’m making art.
Tempo: What is your message to the winner?
TP: Thanks for checking the bike out and thanks for supporting my dad’s foundation. If you win this bike, please build it up and ride it. If you don’t want to do that, get in touch with me and I’ll totally build it up and ride it. Go to davisphinneyfoundation.org to check out more about what he does for the Parkinson’s community. I painted this bike in support of him, in support of his foundation. I would love it if you checked out his website and considered donating to a good cause. If you win this bike, please build it up and ride it. If you don’t want to do that, get in touch with me and I’ll totally build it up and ride it.
Taylor Phinney’s father, Davis Phinney, is himself a storied former pro cyclist with a US National Championship and Olympic medal among his palmarès. In 2004, he founded the The Davis Phinney Foundation to help people with Parkinson’s disease live well today. Its major initiatives include: the Every Victory Counts® manual, developed by movement disorder experts to provide practical ways to live well with Parkinson’s; The Victory Summit® symposia series, which brings experts into communities to share advances in science, care and to inspire those affected by the disease to take action; the Living Well Challenge™ educational webinar series; the “Parkinson’s Exercise Essentials” video and, the funding of research focused on exercise, speech and other quality of life therapies.
The sweepstakes is live at VeloNews.com/winthisbike. All entries must be received by May 18, 2016 to be eligible to win. A winner will be chosen on May 30, 2016. Visit the Davis Phinney Foundation website: www.davisphinneyfoundation.org.