El Capitane by: Stevie Gee - Deathspray customs - Tour de Ville

El Capitane by: Stevie Gee - Deathspray customs - Tour de Ville

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The opening of Tour de Ville was a great sucess and we would like to say thank you to all who came to help us celebrate and for all the kind words.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

City Messengers - Remix

He usually rants uncontrollably but occasionally comes up with something good.

Ronnie Darko's Citymessengers remix...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tour de Ville Opening !

After months of preparation Tour de Ville is almost ready to open it's doors to the public on December 13th at our new location in London Fields.

We will open at 10:00 am at our new address; 50 Lamb Lane.

You can expect the best in classic road, track, touring and leisure bikes. Next to our range of bikes, parts, frames, clothing and accessories we also have a coffee bar. Coffee served will be the Magnus Maximus brand by Swedish pro cyclist Magnus Backstedt. All of the proceeds from this coffee go towards helping young riders. The coffee foundation directly funds the continental professional Team Cyclesport.se

Next to all of this we are organising montly film nights starting in the new year.

We hope to see you all soon !

Erosie visits Tour de Ville

Dutch graffiti artist Erosie is coming to London to work his magic on the new Tour de Ville shop. Eindhoven's finest will take a week to cover most of the exteriour. To give you an impression of what to expect, here's an interview that we had with him.

TdV: What was your driving force in deciding to become a graffiti artist?
Erosie: Its not been a decision really. Things go from one thing into the other. The love of drawing to start with is what got me into graffiti as a kid, really liking characters next to pieces. The rawness, the brightness. From there it got more and more dimensional. In a way it's nice that already before going to artschool I had a lot of references in what I liked. Also the fact that I didn't want to enjoy making things by only being a professional illustrator made me appreciate the diversity of graffiti-related expressions. Doing free art in public space. Working on an idea without anyone demanding something, 'The search for artistic freedom'.

TdV: How did you get into bicycles and when / why did you start to ride a fixed gear?
Erosie: As a kid I was always working on my bikes. I actually got into mountainbiking, probably being frustrated about not ever being allowed a BMX as a young kid. This was at the end of the 80's . Bikes with fluorescent paint jobs and such. Riding my bike pointlessly through the city gave me this gentle feeling of freedom. But also working on a bike is fun. I remember trying to make a singlespeed at one point with a bend piece of metal and a derailleur-wheel to make up for the chainlength. From there roadbikes where the thing, resulting in riding fixed for a couple of years some time ago. Now I'm back to singlespeed since I bent the fork on my trackbike. It's not so bad since my bike is a beautiful old steel Colnago. Fixed gear, singlespeed, it's the joy of riding it that counts.

TdV: What is the attraction in the bikeart and does it have a 'deeper' meaning aswell? aka is a means to revolt against something.
Erosie: Well. It's about different things I guess. It came from my joy in drawing bikes. I wanted a way to combine both the 'rockbottom-element' of graffiti; tags, with the core essence of drawing; a line drawing. There is just one shot, no way back no way to erase or make up for a mistake. This is both interesting to me from a drawing point of view, as it is from a graff point of view. It was more of a reaction towards strict graff-rules, but also within these rules. To neglect the codes by accepting them, and overdoing it. Something like that. On top of that it also came from the fact that I was irritated by the Eindhoven-city-council rules to take away everything in the inner city that was a potential bike-lock spot, like benches and poles. They wanted to get rid of the bikes in the city because they caused too much obstacles for the shopping crowd.

TdV: Do you use your bike when you go out to do pieces / stickers as well?
Erosie: Sure thing. That's actually where the whole bike-throwup-thing came from. Full circle; riding a bike while doing tag-like drawings of bikes. What's better than that?

TdV: Do you take your bike when you go and visit other places?
Erosie: Sure, as much as possible. Berlin; super to ride. I love this city, certainly on my own bike. Paris is great as well to ride. I probably get myself killed in London though. My multitasking sucks, even if only left gets turned into right, or especially then. I can't imagine you guys actually do this (riding on the wrong side of the road : )

TdV: Have you done work in London (and where)
Erosie: I did a show in the good old Dragon Bar once with space3, Zime, Crackrock and Phet15 which was so much fun. Also I did a show in DBJS on Kingsland road. I love London. It's one of those places where you never go to a second time, everything has changed every time I visit. On the other hand it also amazes me how hyped things can get in London. It sometimes seems like every turd gets changed into something special.

TdV: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Erosie: Everyday life. I get mostly inspiration from stuff I get annoyed with. Watching tv for instance. Or overhearing people's conversations while sitting in the train or something like that . Language. Quotes. Just by observing actually. Taking pictures. There is so much to see with a certain mindset, just in ordinary places.

TdV: What is the best or worst advice anyone has given you with regards to your art?
Erosie: Best; probably by Dutch artist John Kormeling. Once in a discussion about doing exhibitions he stated that a museum is there because people make art and not because a museum exists art is made. Museums or institutions may think otherwise. I like this view. It puts things in perspective. I guess there's something to say to that in a broader view.

TdV: Who are your current favorite illustrators or fellow graffiti artists?
Erosie: Always hard to answer, always a momentary thing, SO much to keep discovering! There is a big list of people I really appreciate in my " field" but I mostly get really inspired by people that do things I don't directly relate to, but in different way I feel very close to. Like music. I am such a spastic if it comes to playing music, I really appreciate people that do. I am very happy to work with my good ol' friend Martyn on our label 3024 for instance.

TdV: Do you ever get approached by sponsers or companies that want to use your work?
Erosie: Not really sponsors but of course companies keep an eye open on what's happening in subcultures. I am quite hesitant and very picky whether to go along in a 'graffiti-related' commercial project. It really depends on the subtlety or what's the point. Mostly the point seems to be a 'streetcredbility-injection'. Other people are much more eager to help out in that case, so let them do it. I'm more interested in what something is about than what (brand) it is done for.

TdV: Have you ever turned down a commission?
Erosie: Sure. The art of saying " no". Nothing wrong with earning honest money , but for me it has never been my primary objective to turn things I do in the street into money. If it happens, nice, but forcing it never leads to good result. For a long while I earned my rent with doing illustration-jobs for kid's books etc. without the graffiti-background. It kept the intentions clear, both in earning money for money's sake and the making of things for the purpose of making it. It's a certain freedom I guess to be able to be picky like that. On the other hand this also made time a bigger and bigger enemy. Everything you do needs a certain degree of all out attention at some point. Sometimes I felt like having two different personalities. I think I became slightly more flexible in my attitude lately and it can also be challenging to try and bend things your own way.

TdV: If you were stranded on a Desert Island, what is the 1 piece of art equipment you wouldn't be able to live without?
Erosie: My studio.

TdV: Do you have any advice or recommendations for any inspiring artists out there?
Erosie: Haha! That's a hard one. I like the saying 'all that glitters is not gold'. Does that count?

For more info on Erosie check his: