BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — A public art installation featuring more than 100 bicycle-like sculptures is rolling into Brooklyn and Manhattan this summer.
Gilberto Aceves Navarro, an 84-year-old artist from Mexico City, is debuting his work, “Las Bicicletas” in the United States this June as a way to unite art, a healthy lifestyle and environmental awareness.
One-hundred-and-twenty-two steel bicycle sculptures designed by Aceves Navarro will head to 10 public spots in the city from June to September.
Most of the locations are in Brooklyn, including the Brooklyn Heights promenade, Red Hook and near Prospect Park. As of now, Bowery and Canal Street is the only Manhattan location.
Through "Las Bicicletas," the artist hopes to promote bicycling as a vehicle to reduce pollution and create a greener world.
“I’ve witnessed many transformations of the world and the environment… and they haven’t been for the best,” said Aceves Navarro via email through a translator.
“We need to do something so that all the green, which is the essence of the world, flourishes again,” he said. “Bicycles are a great solution for this.”
Aceves Navarro has created 250 original designs for the bicycle sculptures. While he doesn’t ride a bike for transportation because of his advanced years, he uses a stationary cycle most mornings, said Juan Aceves, the artist’s son.
“That’s what’s behind the bicycle: they are a vehicle of happiness and health,” said the younger Aceves, who works in advertising and is also a music producer.
“We just want to spread the message.”
The sculptures are for sale and in the past, the artist has donated some pieces to support building bicycle infrastructure. The son is looking for causes to support in New York as well.
“I wish for people to see ["La Bicicletas"] as the commitment I have assumed to show that as an artist, I have the obligation to say things that contribute to the betterment of our lives,” Aceves Navarro said.