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The Gallery Show Motorcycle Enthusiasts Around The World Are Anticipating: Bespoke
May 31, 2011 – New York, NY
Artist, metallurgist, and fabricator Michael Cole will have his much-admired, one-of-a-kind motorcycles on display in the exhibition Bespoke: Works by “Copper” Mike Cole, showing at P.J.S. Exhibitions gallery (238 W. 14th St.) from June 24 through July 29, with an Opening Reception on Friday, June 24, from 6-9pm.
Seeing the fine finishes such as hand- hammered copper, platinum leaf, and blown glass that cover Cole’s custom, luxury, high-performing motorcycles has a profound effect on viewers, including Lady Gaga. Gaga and her camp requested that Cole’s bike, Precious Metal (covered in platinum leaf, 14 karat gold, and his trademark copper,) accompany her on stage for the release of her new album, “Born This Way.”
“His bikes are pieces of art,” says P.J.S. owner Patrick Sullivan. “You discover new, exquisite details, finishes, and accents every time you walk around them. The rims are wrapped in leather! No one has ever wrapped rims in leather.” Nor has anyone ever gold leafed a motorcycle frame.
Michael Cole’s bikes have been featured in exhibitions in France and Monte Carlo, as well as in the windows of Atrium in Miami during Art Basel and The House of Savoia in New York. An icon of luxury craftsmanship, Cole was recently the spotlight on an episode of The Discovery Channel’s “Two Wheel Thunder.” The distinctive bobbers have also received honors at all major US motorcycle shows. They are defined as emblems of American style in the U.S. and in Europe.
Collectors have caught on to the talent that motorcycle aficionados have known about for years. “‘Copper Mike’ brings an artisanal quality to each of his one-off creations, which are finally getting the gallery backdrop they deserve,” says Ross Pantano, owner of Sin vitality drink and an original motorbike by Cole. Pantano said: “I knew I had the right builder who would create a beautiful, timeless, and functional work of art.”
In 2009, Renegade Magazine said, “Cole’s attention to detail is unlike anything else in contemporary motorcycle design.” With a father who worked in Manhattan’s garment district, Cole was encouraged to study pattern making at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Soon after, he was building showcases and displays for every high-end retailer, including Georgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney, Carlos Mieli, Elizabeth Arden, and Estee Lauder. It was with these companies that Cole began to experiment with platinum and gold leaf and define a style that bridged vintage, contemporary, and handmade design.
Today, “Copper Mike” designs and sculpts work that is highly individual, rare, and collectible. He continues to collaborate with other artists such as master leather workers, glass blowers and painters in order to bring to life his artistic visions and create these true masterpieces.
BESPOKE: Works by “Copper” Mike Cole
June 24-July 29, 2011
Opening Reception: Friday, June 24, 6-9pm
238 W. 14th Street
New York, NY 10011
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11am-7pm
P.J.S. Exhibitions gallery serves as a premier location for displaying the new works of exciting, modern, and avant-garde artists who place a contemporary lens on classic subjects, mediums and techniques. As such, the gallery’s environment transforms to reflect the artists’ vision, lending to constant innovation at P.J.S.