Exploring 5 Artworks: Celebrating The Transformative Power Of Bicycles

P Abigail Sadhana Rao

The advent of bicycles in the 19th century had a profound impact on transportation and society, leading to their incorporation into the realm of art. Artists recognized the bicycle as a symbol of progress and societal change, depicting it in various ways. Paintings like Federico Zandomeneghi’s “Meeting on a Bicycle” and Choquet Christian’s “Tour de France année 2003” captured the joy, freedom, and excitement associated with cycling. Futurist artists, including Boccioni, Dottori, Sironi, and Depero, emphasized the speed and movement of bicycles, reflecting the ideology of the movement. 

Additionally, bicycles became a powerful emblem of freedom for women, as they provided newfound independence and mobility. Artists like Mary Cassatt depicted women on bicycles, showcasing their liberation from traditional gender roles. Moreover, artists focused on the mechanical design of bicycles, celebrating their craftsmanship and intricate details through meticulous brushwork and attention to detail.

Indian artists on Mojarto have also embraced bicycle as a subject that transcends mere representation. Through their paintings and illustrations, they celebrate the advent of this revolutionary invention and the impact it had on society. Let’s explore these “wheels of creativity” and the relationship they share with all of humankind. 


Bicycle - Right to Passage
Happy by Siva Balan 

Riding a bicycle as a child is often a rite of passage, a joyful and empowering experience, one that represents a journey of growth and self-discovery, as we learn to navigate the world on two wheels. It also teaches us valuable life lessons, the importance of perseverance, patience, and resilience. It instills in us a sense of accomplishment and the belief that we can overcome obstacles with determination.

Whether we remember the wobbly first attempts or the exhilaration of gliding down the street with the wind in our hair, learning to ride a bicycle with our fathers, siblings, or friends, is a cherished childhood experience that holds a special place in our hearts and memories, it is one that is well depicted by Siva Balan in this artwork titled, “Happy”.


Friends by Sunil Linus De

Sunil Linus De beautifully captures the act of riding back home with friends which simply adds an extra layer of camaraderie and shared experience, creating a lively and enjoyable atmosphere as one pedals together, sharing laughter and conversation along the way. Pedaling through this picturesque countryside of Kerala, the gentle breeze, rhythmic pedals, and vibrant colours of nature create a tranquil ambiance, allowing the stresses of life to fade away. This artwork, “Friends” not only rejuvenates both body and soul but also reminds us to cherish our friends who cycle along with us in life, sharing moments of great success and failures in our everyday lives.

Rainy Day

Rainy Day by Krishnendu Chatterjee

Krishnendu Chatterjee elegantly depicts a rainy day that holds a special charm when shared with a loved one on a bicycle ride. Comfort takes a backseat as they sit, perhaps a little uncomfortably, in the front of the cycle. He paints that one moment where nothing else matters except the pure joy of riding in the rain, and finding happiness in the simplicity of life. The discomforts become insignificant compared to the laughter and the shared experience of embracing the unpredictable weather together. It’s a memory that lingers and is cherished forever, a reminder of the power of living in the present and finding delight in the smallest moments. 

On a Trip

On a Trip by Dinesh Shringi

In the words of the photographer, Dinesh Shringi, bicycle became his “transport, when life asked more than one could give.” He suggests that when faced with challenges or demands that seemed overwhelming, the bicycle as depicted in his frame became a means of coping or finding solace. The bicycle, in this context, represents a personal refuge or a way to navigate through challenging circumstances, providing a sense of control and a means to keep moving forward.

When life presents difficulties that exceeded one’s capacity, relying on the simplicity and freedom of riding a bicycle can offer a form of escape or respite. Whether someone is learning to ride a bicycle for the first time or rediscovering the joy of riding, it is a reminder that it is never too late to embrace new experiences or revisit old ones. Riding a bicycle can bring a sense of empowerment, rejuvenation, and a renewed perspective on life. 

Going Nowhere

Going Nowhere by Shuchi Pandya

Shuchi Pandya in her photograph encapsulated the essence of longing to be ridden, the yearning for the freedom, exhilaration, and liberation that comes with being on a bicycle. It evokes a sense of nostalgia and anticipation as if the subject is eagerly waiting to feel the wind in their hair and the rhythm of the pedals beneath their feet once more. The photograph speaks to the universal desire to reconnect with the simple joys of cycling, reminding us of the timeless appeal and the enduring spirit of exploration that bicycles inspire.

I would like to end it with a poem from the perspective of the bicycle, I hope it makes you think and perhaps even nudge you to ride one in the near future. 

As a humble bicycle, I patiently stand,

Leaning against the wall, yearning for a hand.

The open road calls, with the wind in my spokes,

Destinations unknown, where excitement evokes.

Each passing day, life unfolds its tales,

Eyes fixed on horizons, as dreams set sail.

Yet they miss the joy, that I long to share,

Adventure awaits, as we breathe in the air.

Oh, the stories I’d tell if they’d only hear,

Of children’s laughter, when learning to steer.

Lovers pedaling, hand in hand we glide,

Through streets and parks, with hearts unified.

But sometimes forgotten, gathering dust and rust,

Memories fading, like whispers in the gust.

Yet patient, I wait, for those who remember,

The freedom of riding, its soul-stirring ember.

For I am more than gears, rubber, and steel,

A vessel of exploration, to guide and reveal.

A companion for wanderers, seeking release,

In the simple act of movement, finding peace.

Silent yet alive, with dreams in my frame,

Waiting for the touch, that will ignite the flame.

So, passersby, heed my unwavering plea,

Embrace the journey, let our spirits roam free.

Together we’ll embark, on an eternal ride,

Through moments etched in hearts, side by side.

For the cycle remains, eager and true,

Longing to accompany, each adventure with you.