Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Over the hill: The indignity of artisitic remembrance

How do you know when you are over the proverbial hill?  A question we all ponder eventually.  For some, the hill comes before it was intended.  Take Michael Ball's artistic cycling team concept of Rock Racing.  Despite their slogan of "Rock's Not Dead!", Rock Racing certainly has one foot and a couple of toes in the grave.  Beyond their recent difficulties in getting licenses and paying their cyclists, the death knell came on their website this morning which is announcing the sale of multiple Rock Racing apparel lines at reduced costs in some attempt of liquidation.  Probably the best deal there is the Rock Racing speedo, called the "Hyman" which comes in colors of "Black and Juice".

Get 'em while they're hot, because at the low, low price of $25 with free shipping, they shant last long.

But what one may consider heading "over the hill", another may just call "demonstrating longevity".  Such is the case of Lance Armstrong from whom some exciting news came yesterday.  Yes, he has decided to race in the 101st edition of Milan-San Remo on Saturday, but the more exciting news to which I'm referring is his new found place in the world of art.  As many Lanc-ophiles know, Mr. Armstrong is a great follower of art, and now he has actually become a part of it, thus further immortalizing his legend.  The work I'm referring to is a piece commissioned by Lance's former coach, Chris Carmichael for his Carmichael Training Systems Center headquarters painted by artist Kathleen King.  Requesting an enormous mural, the original concept of the painting as conceived by King, was to celebrate the entire history of the Tour de France, featuring the 8 most successful riders: Lance Armstrong, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain, Phillippe Thys, Louison Bobet and Greg Lemond.  The completed work didn't end up quite as conceived by Ms. King, however. 
Yes, Lance would be featured front and center and very large...(despite looking a little like Carl the janitor from The Breakfast Club.)

But LeMond would end up not among the 'great 8' as originally intended.  He still made it onto the canvas, albeit a little bit lower and smaller in the work....To be more specific, as a scribble located due south of Miguel Indurain's taint.

According to the artist....

"For the original design I had naturally selected the one rider who has won seven times: Lance Armstrong, the four riders who won 5 times: Jacques Anquetil; Eddy Merckx; Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain, and the 3 who won the Tour three times: Philippe Thys; Louison Bobet; and Greg Lemond. My client, Chris Carmichael preferred a different approach. I knew that there was some conflict between Lemond and the Carmichael /Armstrong camp based on Lemond's very public verbal attacks of Armstrong during several press conferences but I wasn't aware of how intense the feelings were surrounding those events......While I think the way Lemond has chosen to air his beliefs is counterproductive and reflects poorly on him it saddened me that personal animosities ran so deep that it would affect the composition in a way that diminished Lemond's importance in the Tour's history. But people are human and ultimately the mural hangs in Chris' office where he comes to work every day. So I can't say I blame him......Greg Lemond is in profile in the peloton below the profile (and large figure) of Miguel Indurain, above Stephen Roche, ahead of Pedro Delgado and Bernard Hinault, behind Bjarne Riis, Jan Ulrich and Lance Armstrong. I exaggerated Greg's fluffy blond curls and wide eyes and rather 'boyish' appearance."

Such is in the indignity of falling out of favor with the peloton.....if you are Greg LeMond, you end up being remember as a scribble below a Spaniard's ass, and if you are Floyd Landis, you end up blurred out and wheelsucking a waxed Lance at Madame Tussauds...
I think there is probably a lesson to be learned here, but for the life of me, I cannot think what that would be... I may be too consumed with how comfy my new Black and Juice Hyman Hotpants feel to think clearly, though.

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