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Fashionably Recycled

Bicycle recycling in China. view from the sky

This is a photograph of a bike sharing graveyard in China taken from a drone, which has assumed its own beauty. This leads to the consideration in an indirect way of the fashion attire represented in racing cyclists. Maria Teresa Castelli of Studio Taste in Italy has become a leading designer for racing cyclists, which is attracting attention.

Ever since the Italian engineer Giovanni Fontana invented the basis for the first bicycle in 1418 with his four-wheeler vehicle, the world of cycling has evolved. Cycling itself is a performance, and fashion for road race cycling becomes spectacle. With Castelli the cyclists’ bodies are her canvases for which she designs clothing; features of architecture, science, technology and fashion are included. She discreetly covers her human paintings, drawing lines and colors which consider the flow of air, water resistance and comfort.
Recognizing that cyclists are crazy extroverts, who wish for visibility for sartorial garb as well as achievement in the race, they participate in one of the most grueling sports in the world. They are good clients, as their narcissistic projections make them unique, avant garde cyclists with no holds barred.

Italy may be the premier nation in road racing with super stars (Coppi, Bartali, Mercs, Pantani) who have become instant heroes. The achievement is the pedaling spectacle of road racing and fashion. Hopefully, the bike sharing movement will latch on with even more momentum. They will look to these pedaling exhibitions of fashion in movement as the mentor of cycling and want to join in the performance, the spectacle of the body in motion.

Pendery Weekes, Fashion Editor

Volume 32 no 3 Jan/Feb 2018 p 28

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William Bates

Great photo of the bike sharing cemetery. Take a look at what they do here with Abstract Aerial Art:


Lafayette Baudin

If “there are roughly one billion bicycles in the world (about twice as many as motor vehicles)”, we should definitely give more space to the bicycle in all sectors, including art. I hated seeing the bike sharing cemetery here in the article; this shouldn’t be happening. Couldn’t they have at least given the bicycles away?


Mirilam Campbell

Where are the cemeteries for unwanted paintings and sculptures (considering the millions and millions of paintings and sculptures created each year)? What is their final destination?

Chang Syun

The trash Miriam, the trash.

Jiang Lam

Has anyone seen Chen Zhen’s work “Precipitous Parturition” at the Guggenheim?. It’s a 20 meter long dragon made out of inner tubes from women’s bicycles, then covered “with tiny black plastic cars”, It “symbolizes China’s rapid transition from a nation of bicycles to a nation of cars.”. Like the above article, it’s a very provocative piece, something to think about, but to also take action on. These bicycle tubes must have come from a bicycle tube cemetery.
I invite you all to watch the video of the massive effort it took to compose the sculpture:

Richard van Kaam

How unfortunate that Chen Zhen died so early at the age of 45 in 2000. He was truly brilliant.

Dott. Giovanni de Santis

Cemeteries are always cemeteries; we’ll all go there sooner or later, things or people alike when we are no longer. Could we have more of the live fashion of cycling and less of the dead bicycles from the bicycle sharing movement?

Many thanks,


Thomas Perkins

Hello Dott. Giovanni de Santis,
I’ve been following your comments throughout the website and wondering what you’re a “dottore” in? We poor mortals sign just with our names, nothing fancy like you do.

Dott. Giovanni de Santis

Hi Thomas,
Nothing fancy really. In Italy when someone finishes university, “Dottore” becomes an official part of men’s names; women are called “Dottoressa”. I graduated from the Universita’ della Sapienza di Roma in Philosophy.

Georgia Corsky

Why the title, “Fashionably Recycled”?

Joseph Porter

Don’t we all recycle today? I think though in this case the bicycles have gone in for composting to benefit the soil as bike fertilizer.

Mark Dewey

Hi there Richard,
Is this a seriouus proposal? Anyone out there at the Art Institute of Chicago listening?

Chen Wang

It would be better at the Museum of Contemporary Art in China. We have over 10 million bike sharers.

Sofie Jensen

An exhibition in Copenhagen for “crazy extroverts”, cyclists and bike sharers alike, even with the cemetery.

Tomas Olsson

The Arken Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen would be the most receptive place for such an exhibition.

Cyrill Accord

Art is not about bike sharing, is it?

Joseph Porter

Cyrill, it’s about sharing the art.

Richard Milton

Imagine an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago combining these two contrasting proposals: an area with a mountain of decaying bicycles from failed bike sharing programs surrounded by Tim Shaw’s injured and perhaps aging, road racing cyclists, however all dressed in Maria Teresa Castelli’s fashion that considers the “flow of air, water resistance and comfort”. As people in the western world gain more and more weight and enter into the category of the obese, do we in fact need bicycles anymore? Are they to soon become obsolete, no longer considered essential elements of childhood? It’s a very worrisome trend… Read more »

Rachel Stevens

Frankly, if we’re talking about uniting sports with art, then the best venue would be The Dallas Cowboys Art Collection at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas. What better place to show the “canvases” of cycle fashion than around an installation of a bike sharing graveyard?

Edith Thomas

The proportion of waste of bicycles shown here for whatever reason, is truly shocking. Couldn’t they have just been given away instead of being destroyed? But then again we have the tons and tons of unwanted fruit and vegetables from the fields in massive proportions being destroyed and the still edible supermarket and restaurant food being thrown out as waste, not to touch the argument of healthy male chicks and male calves being killed at birth and so on. The photo of the bike cemetery looks like a very elaborate creation, instead of a haphazard pile of what is now… Read more »

Trevor Hardy

I read this article yesterday and it had a second image; is there some sort of disappearing trick going on? I was interested in seeing it again.

Ralph Barston

Hi Trevor,
As an avid Sunday cyclist, I also wanted to see the work of Maria Teresa Castelli and found us some images. Take a look if you’re interested:

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