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Bikes Locked to Poles
This series of colour photographs by John Glassie were made between 2001 and 2004, in and around his East Village neighborhood in New York. They have since formed content of several exhibitions around New York, as well as a book, Bicycles Locked to Poles, published by McSweeney’s, NY. The context in which these images are presented makes a significant mark, bringing the subject of ‘broken bikes’ into the sphere of fine art and professional photography.
That the publication continues to sell as a ‘coffee table book’ via independent and also major outlets, such as Amazon, indicates a wide dissemination to a broad readership expressing an interest in these images. A ReadyMade Magazine review describes Glassie’s work as showing the cycles 'Bent into insect shapes yet retaining a certain dignity…the martyred frames collected here are at once a nod to Marcel Duchamp's deconstructed Bicycle Wheel and a testament to the risks of city living.' The bikes are often stripped to their frames and can be taken to represent a visual social commentary about the struggle between harsh environments and intelligent design. The work presents
a challenge to other creative practitioners to find more ways to extract beauty and inspiration from such on-street scenarios.