Bike Portrait Project

A couple of weeks ago, one of our Artist Interview’s featured photographer/filmmaker Ian Durkin. He also shared this project with us featuring photographs of the regulars from a bike shop he worked at in Vermont. Each person was shot with their particular bike including their story behind it. In addition to some amazing candid photos, each customer’s story shares a different need and appreciation for their bicycle as well as a unique place that each bike came from. What’s your bike’s story?

“The bike shop that I worked at in Vermont didn’t actually sell anything. There were no shiny new bikes on display nor were there neat racks of clothing. There wasn’t even a cash register.

Instead, in the basement of an old white Victorian farmhouse, we had heaps of what many would consider junk. Old bicycle frames piled high, bins upon bins of discarded parts, rusty chains and wheels of all sizes hanging from hooks on the wall. Some of the parts were completely mangled, making you wonder what happened to their previous owner.

People familiar with the shop, however, saw these parts not for what they were, but for what they could be. Two wheeled Frankenstein creations would emerge from the rubble and find new homes with those who would take the time to learn how to build them up. With their own kind of charm, these one of a kind bikes were cherished by their owners for their character.  

I spent a lot of time working in that shop – music blasting and hands filthy – helping people build bikes up from what we had lying around and fixing them up when they needed repairs. I really got a kick out of the stories people would tell me about their bikes. By the way they spoke of them, you could see that they had developed interesting relationships with them. So one day I started asking regulars if I could take a photo of them with their bike and if they would write down what their bike means to them.”

Ian Durkin

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