London based artist James Straffon shares our passion for cycling and we were delighted to host his exhibition LE TOUR : FROM MAILLOT JAUNE TO LANTERNE ROUGE in 2012 to coincide with the Tour and Olympics.
James takes original, vintage cycling materials, and reworks them into a modern framework. Incorporating a diverse palette of rare and unusual items of cycling memorabilia, Straffon focuses on the engrossing human stories and complex subplots, making pictures from the past, his muse – 21 days of racing, held annually since 1903. As James explains: “Integrating these delicate, and often rare, items provide a visceral element of danger within my process. Having located a given piece, I am often all too aware that there is no going back. Its ephemeral vulnerability ceases as soon as the process of integration begins. So the act of making comes loaded with significance.”
In LE TOUR exhibition, James repositions a sporting event, and its players, as a gallery of devotional imagery. Focusing on the visually-rich narrative of cycling heritage – dating back over a century of road racing, and an associated ‘cinematographic’ lifestyle, he incorporates pigment, collage, pen, resin and other mixed-media to build iconic imagery of the great and good, the highs and lows, and the panorama viewable from a unique sporting discipline.