Hmmm. Not sure, but it is it still gear if it’s art? Definitely novel, so we’re going for it!
I dearly love the art of Michael Valenti. The warped proportions and perspectives just make for some pretty cool artwork. (I only feel like my legs are that huge after a busy summer of cycling 12 miles a day! Especially when most of that ends up being Colorado mountains instead of relatively flat Texas.)
There’s a long, proud tradition of great bicycle posters – some of which I might explore at later times – and Valenti carries that on with these pieces. Valenti cycling art tends to center around various segments of the Tour de France, although he does do other races and more generic items. There’s always a bit of heart and whimsy to his pieces, even as they portray the suffering and passion of racers taking on the challenges of the course.
I found these particular posters over on Amazon. They’re printed on heavy acid-free archival paper with archival inks and sized to fit standard frames. I chose the four below as great examples of his style – Mount Ventoux (classic big climb of the Tour de France), Tour of Switzerland, Alpe d’Huez (21 hairpin switchbacks on the climb) and Graham Watson (the cycling photographer).
Valenti is actually in advertising, creating images and campaigns for more than 30 years. He even spent time as a Hallmark illustrator, so you might have already owned a piece of his art at some point! His style is simple, bold graphics that take you back from a distance, but are full of details that make them just as fascinating up close.
You can also get his art in t-shirt form – a few designs at least. The Mount Ventoux image finds its way here, but the others I picked out are more generically cycling than a specific race.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, probably enough to get a cup of coffee. I generally only recommend products or services on this blog I would wear personally and believe you will find cool as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”