My photo
Brooklyn, New York, United States
I am a sculptor. Specializing in clay modeling, metal fabrication/welding, and ceramics. Studio practices include powertools and machines that make a lot of dust and noise.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ghost Bicycle Memorial Project

April 14th 2010 

Jake was a graffiti writer, and was into street art scene, 
This wall was decorated by his friends in his memory. 
It was shortly demolished for the shooting 
of an episode of "Rescue Me." 
The news came to all Brooklyn College students (myself included) as huge shock. Here it was, a freshman on his way to school struck down and killed because of one person's ignorance and negligence. I was profoundly moved when I heard. My B.F.A. Thesis show was based on Bicycle Culture. Themes embodied  in my work include the idea of cyclist vulnerability and how pedestrians and cyclists could be marginalized by careless drivers.

When I heard about this, I knew instantly, that I wanted to do something for him. 
I didn't know Jake McDonough personally, But over the next few months I would learn about him through meeting his parents and close friends. 

The images below document the process through several months. 

Installation View.

DRIP was Jake's Tag.
I painted it to reflect his memorial wall piece, in a shade of blue he frequently used.

Other side of installation view.

The lettering was painted in acrylic and a clear overcoat applied. 

Jake is survived by his parents, Denny and Larraine McDonough. 

This Memorial along with Jake's works are  on view through Feb 28th at the Brooklyn College Library.

Work In Progress Documentation

After making a template I cut the letters out of steel.

As with all my work, I document each step. However, To save time I will skip over a lot of the prep work such as removing the paint off the bicycle and taking it apart. The following photos will give a brief overview of this project.

The letters were cut out of 1/8th steel using Beverly sheers. Then pounded flat against an anvil. 

The seam line for the  cut outs are welded clean and buffed.

After the letters were cut I cleaned them and prepped them to be connected. I welded them from behind so the welds would not be seen from the front, leaving a cleaner look.

Tires were filled with spray foam to retain an inflated shape.

Mounting the tires back on after the foam had set was no easy task. For this labor, I enlisted the help of fellow Brooklyn College sculptor Heriberto Ferrer.

Reassembly and welded
steel plates to frame.

Semi-assembled bicycle sans handle bars, seat post , saddle and pedals.

Pre-Painted Steel
I used a paint brush to get the
 fine clean lines to outline DRIP
Painting process

Primered Stee

The painting process involved many coats of primer and clear coat. Both sides were painted and every component was also painted such as tires and chain.

Larraine and Denny McDonough loved the piece. 

I'm glad I was able to make this for them.

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