Artist’s Statement

 

My father and my uncle were both University Art Professors, and I had a somewhat bohemian upbringing, as various artists and aesthetic discourse filtered through our home. A guest artist from NYC saw some of my abstract studies in 1966, and commissioned a painting from me. I decided to use the proceeds to buy a new 10-speed bike. To my surprise, my parents told me that 10 gears were ostentatious - that I would be shifting above my station - and restricted my purchase to a 5-speed model. So, at the early age of ten, I first became aware of the bicycle’s powerful sociocultural signifiers. 


At the end of my MFA studies, I decided to dedicate myself to a large sculptural series based on the bicycle, as a broad reexamination of this historically pivotal, human-powered machine (see “Earlier Statement” below). Part Leonardo da Vinci and part Rube Goldberg, the bicycle is elegant in its simplicity; sublime in its efficiency; and universal in its kinetic appeal. Beyond this, many human themes found within the Humanities, such as fantasy, ambition, hubris, locomotion, competition, etc., are readily recognized within the humble bicycle, as its history is intertwined with human aspirations and invention.


Later, as an exhibiting artist, I became more interested in the exploration of my own personal iconography, as it pertains to this human-amplifying tool. I found the bicycle to be a capable medium for expressing many of my more philosophic musings, and its functional outsider stance lent itself to questioning many insider artworld practices. History has shown that the world of art benefits from new outside creative influences - as witnessed by all the “isms” of the 20th Century - making art relevant and connected within the current culture.   


However, with the arrival of the new millennium, the contemporary art scene is now heralding “Wall Power” (prized giant corporate paintings of dubious taste) and “Art Warehousing”, (investment grade artworks sequestered away in deep storage). Retail gallerists appear to be grooming creativity into fitting capitalism’s philistine critique. In response to such marketing barbarisms, I have chosen to remove my artwork from sales and the side hustle of gallery representation. This work ethic (“art for art sake”) has allowed me the complete freedom to pursue creative interests wherever they lead... And discover myself a pioneer in the “Bicycle Medium”.


                                                                                                               -Kurt Wold (2017)


                                   - Click Here To Read Earlier Statement -