These days, much is made of the paintwork adorning the frames that are the result of the frame builder’s hard work — and with good reason. Chris Bishop of Bishop Bikes is collaborating with several of these professional painters on a series of one-off projects to show off their work and this one, by Ben Falcon, is the first.
Chris has good reason to highlight the artwork of these specialists: the professional painters that apply the coatings have been honing their skills for just as many years as the frame builders, and what they come up is more than decoration — it brings the bike to life, endowing it with a personality.
Some of the painters and artists that Chris will be working with are Ben Corbalis at Portland’s Black Magic Paint, and Noah Rosen at VéloColour in Toronto. Ben Falcon works out of the back of Horse Cycles in New York, painting their frames also, and he has another of Chris’ frames to work on.
Falcon has a huge amount of experience behind him: He earned his stripes painting frames at Seven Cycles in Watertown, MA, before heading to Chris King in Portland, where he was instrumental in establishing their state-of-the-art wet paint department. There, he was working on the Cielo range of frames.
He’s now taken up residence at the Brooklyn-based workshop of Thomas Callahan’s Horse Cycles, where he paints their frames as well as motorbike helmets and parts, and bicycle frames and forks. He didn’t hold back on this Bishop frame, which involved a huge amount of intricate taping, painting and masking.
A limited palette of white and red to work was set. Ben then began experimenting with styles and finally, testing went out the window and he just laid down the white and tape, letting the design come into being. There were a few influences, ranging from Art Deco architecture to tribal patterns to the animated Samurai Jack series.
There’s no doubt about it, the effect is immensely striking, the frame dissolving into a warp-drive of pixels, mixed with the nostalgia of early race cars and industrialisation. The fillet brazed and lugged frame receives it well: the smooth joints of the head tube and the bi-laminate fastback seat tube cluster is all signature Bishop.
This 52cm frame is now available for sale — just email Chris for details. The other frames will be offered as frameset, with fork and headset, or complete to the customer’s specifications. It’s a first come, first served deal, so if you’ve been hanging out for a Bishop, now’s your chance.