Italian saddle maker Selle Royal has commissioned artists to create love-themed saddles for Valentine's day. The saddles have been produced in very limited numbers and are not for sale. There will be further releases of themed-saddles on International Women’s Day on 8th March, Earth Day on 22nd April, Bike to Work Day in America on 15th May, and Children’s Day on 1st June.
Selle Royal commissioned 25 leading comic artists, product designers, graphic illustrators and animators from across Europe and America to create the artworks.
Just three of each design will be made, each signed by the artist.
Monica Savio of Selle Royal said: “We have always strived to be an ethical company and believe that cycling and art can be powerful forces for change in the world. The chosen themes reflect this, with the first being about overcoming adversity and coming together to strive for a fairer, less divided world.”
To help promote discussion on these issues, Selle Royal will make just one of each saddle available to the public via a free-to-enter social media competition; using the hashtags #sUPportProject #Lovetoday, with entrants encouraged to give examples of adversity in their life or how they overcame it.
Of the additional two saddles in each design, one will be given to the artists, and the final one will be used as museum exhibits, both in Italy and internationally.
The five themes were chosen in a vote of Selle Royal employees, selecting global issues that concerned and motivated them most.
The five artists that contributed to the Valentine’s Day collection are pop-culture illustrator Ale Giorgini, gothic artist OniBaka, cartoonist and illustrator Alberto Corradi, animation specialist David Sossella, and the NBA illustrator Francesco Poroli, whose commissions have appeared in the New York Times and Il Sole 24 Ore. Collectively their works have been exhibited in many of the major modern-art galleries around Europe, North America and Asia.
Hannes Pasqualini, a graphic designer and illustrator who created a design for the Bike Passion theme described the saddle and its ridges and dips as an unusual canvas to work with: “Applying a way to work two-dimensionally to a three-dimensional object was a challenge from a technical-realisation point of view.”
Matteo Cuccato, artist and project leader explained the process: “Aside from selecting the illustrators and the saddle template, we gave the artists free reign to express themselves as they saw fit, with preferred techniques and styles, using the saddle as a blank canvas.
Each of these first five works have been created using Selle Royal’s Look IN Moderate saddle.
The Look IN Moderate saddle uses a Royalgel padding that flexes and reacts to reduce pressure peaks by up to 40 percent. It is shaped to distribute weight more comfortably for commuters and leisure riders that use an intermediate riding position.