Albert Eisentraut made a ~beautiful~ road frame for the legendary Bike Barb* in the mid-70s. (1974?) Standing next to him on the start line of a race, I stared at the unique artwork to the point of almost not hearing the starter's gun. As I recall, the frame had a light tan base color, but all the tubes were "wrapped" in stylistically rendered barb wire. I recall colors of black, silver, and a gunmetal-blue on the wire, all painted with the utmost care. The depth and detail to the painted wire had to be seen to be believed and the overall effect was stunning. It was another ten years before I saw similarly original special artistic paint schemes from other bike painters (though there certainly could have been many I missed, especially from the East Coast). Have seen fish scales, wood texture, bamboo, flower vines, and numerous other lovely artwork on frames since then, but the Barbed Wire Special is still is among the best for my money. Does anyone out there have a photo of this bike? It would be a great addition for the CR website for American framebuilders. Sadly, I recall this frame was heavily damaged in a racing accident within a year or two, and after repair, it had a regular paint job--I guess that is always the danger of using "rolling artwork" in high-risk activities.
Bill Bryant Santa Cruz, California
*For info on the Bike Barb, dig out old copies of Competitive Cycling.
Art Smith wrote:
> All of this talk about spray guns, and layers of compatible paint, and
> painting with a mop have me curious if anyone on this list has ever seen any
> bikes painted in a "one of", custom, painterly (as in canvas painting)
> style. I've seen faux wood, bamboo, and even bones, and bikes painted in a
> Haring-like graphics style. I am a brush man myself and have always wanted
> to paint a classic bike in a non-traditional style. I also teach a high
> school advanced art class where we have painted chairs, bowling balls, and
> kitchen appliances as a cheap alternative to canvas paintings. All our items
> are scrounged from allies or dumps and there are a lot of kid's bikes that
> are tossed out even though they are still functional. I would want to paint
> one first to show them an example, and any ideas or comments that you might
> have would be appreciated.
> Art Smith in Phoenix where my peppers are red and my tomatoes are green and
> where I'm not thinking of hand painting my 52 Dawes Red Feather that arrived
> this week form England.