Watching The Years Go Round: Artists on Their Bicycles Calendar

By Courtney Humiston
|  Monday, Nov 30, 2009  |  Updated 8:30 AM EDT
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Watching The Years Go Round: Artists on Their Bicycles Calendar

Lukas Wassmann/The Swiss Institute

Artist Pierre Huyghe crosses the Williamsburg Bridge

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Don't be alarmed if, along with your egg drop soup and vegetable fried rice, a scroll arrives stuffed in your takeout that, unrolled, wishes you "Good Luck Year Ever."

It is nearly 2010 after all and therefore, calendar time. You might be looking for something a little more, er, galley-ready than the year of the Tiger. Last year, French Vogue's scantily-clad costumed ladies, as seen through the lens of Terry Richardson, gave us something to look forward to each month, and this year we get Terry Richardson himself. On a bike. With a snake. (That's hardly a substitute, some might say.)

Next week at Art Basel Miami, the Swiss Institute will present 500 limited edition 2010 calendars entitled "Artists on Their Bicycles New York." As the name suggests, each month corresponds to a portrait of artists like Ryan McGinley, Cindy Sherman, and David Byrne (who rides with a basket, by the way, and whose "Bicycle Diaries," which chronicles his cycling adventures in New York and beyond was just released this fall) pedaling their way from rooftops to the streets of Chinatown.

Did you know that New York-based Austrian artist Rainer Ganahl rides a foldable or that Terry Richardson can straddle three at once while his albino rattle snake watches in disbelief? Crazy things happen when artists mount their two-wheeled steeds in the streets of Manhattan: Look at Philip-Lorca diCorcia: no hands!

Outlook and G-cal and so many smartphone apps may have replaced the ubiquitous calendar kiosks -- the once hotly anticipated post-Thanksgiving shopping destination that offered something for every hard-to-shop-for person on your list. For Grandma? How about 12 shirtless fireman? Ladies sprawled across sudsy automobiles for Dad's second cousin, and cuddly kittens curled up in tea cups for the kid next door who accidentally killed your cat. Surely, the wall calendar is the gift that keeps giving.

But the calendar has fallen as just another victim of the click and scroll? Or has it  finally become what it was always intended to be? Fine art. (And for those of you who still prefer monthly cheesecake to alternative transportation, take heart. Richardson himself photographed the mostly topless ladies of the 2010 Pirelli calendar.)

You can preorder the 12-by-14-inch "Artists on their Bicycles" calendar for $45 or, sigh, go ahead and download the PDF right to your desktop.

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