30 July 2009

Racy Bicycles

This is one of the most classic vintage bicycle posters in the history of cycling. Cycles Gladiators was a French brand and this poster was created in 1895 by G. Massias. It barely raised an eyebrow back then as scores of bicycle posters featured liberated women in the early days of Bicycle Culture 1.0, as you can see on this poster we've created.

The poster has been adopted by a California winemaker and is used on the label. The elegant woman has finally raised eyebrows in Alabama, USA. The state has just banned the wine from the state because the label is 'pornographic'. Read more over at Copenhagenize.com.

It's all so very silly.


Velouria said...

Ah, American values never fail to entertain me!

I've noticed that many turn-of-the-century bicycle adverts feature red-haired women. I wonder why that is -- were they considered more athletic? more wild? In any case,
love that poster!

Unknown said...

Cool with the pedalling parrots.
Anyone else notice them?

Word verification: redsh

Jon said...

I grew up in the American South (proper pronunciation: Murken Sowth). Let me tell you, "silly" doesn't even begin to cover it!

Mook said...

It is truly a pity that us Americans can not give up our "Puritan" ways. Personally, I love this genre of artwork.

Dottie said...

Stuff like this is seriously why I moved away from the South after growing up there.

Anonymous said...

It is indeed unfortunate that there are so many people in the world (not limited to the American South, but there is certainly a preponderance of them there) who cannot distinguish art/nudity from pornography.

re red hair: try "fiery" and "racy," not to mention always a bit "exotic" (so I won't).


Unknown said...

Good News!

The wine is using this to its benefit:

Kiwehtin said...

It is funny -- there are quite a few vintage bike posters that use nudity (discretely draped or otherwise), both male and female. This was in a time when in Euro-American culture, nudity was to a certain extent seen as part of a classical ideal and not treated solely as public sexuality... Nowadays any suggestion of genital or mammary exposure is seen in North American culture as sexual, period. You see this in the juvenile comments so often made about the World Naked Bike Ride like "Why all the guys? I wanna see boobs" etc.

Anonymous said...

Cycles Gladiator is way ahead of it's time by promoting cycle chic in the USA ages and ages ago long before any cycle chic blogs even existed in the USA. They did the first USA cycle chic runway fashion show way back, years ago during NYC Bike To Work

lagatta à montréal said...

The folkways of religious fundamentalist groupings, whatever the religion, will never fail to astound me and provoke the proverbial slap to forehead.

Good for the winery if they can use this nonsense for publicity. Hope the wine is decent.

Kate said...

As an American I can't help but blush. However, given the antics of some celebrities, Hollywood personalities, and athletes, I think Puritanism is on the wane. But, then there are conservative politicians who like to keep it alive. Such contradictions.

The poster is terrific and I shall look for the wine.