“You see that fine, elegant top tube - totally flat - and immediately realise you have in your hands the perfect surface for creating art.” Luca Di Maggio, a.k.a. Mr. Di Maggio, is a street artist in Milan and the face of the creative urban culture blossoming in cities around the world. His acrylic characters can be seen along the streets of Tel Aviv, among Brooklyn’s rooftops, on Milan’s crumbling walls, and on shutters and billboards.
Bringing them to life on a Flexy Gravel’s carbon frame was the beginning of a friendship that has drawn us into the world of metropolitan art. The custom frame became his canvas. With markers and spray paint, Mr. Di Maggio has transformed a Titici bike into something even more unique: a moving work of art. The artist himself spends hours pedalling down streets around the world on his masterpiece.
How would you define your art?
“My creations are diaries, representations of a life that falls somewhere between dreams and reality. They’re a form of therapy that I perform on myself. My father was a judge, I studied law but then realised it wasn’t for me. I worked as a graphic designer, but felt the draw of physical shapes. Painting vast walls is an essential physical outlet for me.”
Just like cycling, which is a recurring theme in your work.
“Cycling is like painting: a relaxing way to blow off steam. Cycling and cyclists are a source of continuous inspiration, because each trip is a metaphor for life itself: you encounter difficult roads and endless climbs, but when you reach the top, the view is incredible. Cycling teaches us that all our efforts will be rewarded.”
Where did this “feeling” for Titici come from?
“I experienced immediate empathy with the brand and the people who work there. I’m an avid supporter of Made in Italy and Titici is one of the strongest examples of it in cycling. I have never had a carbon bike. The amazing shapes of the Flexy Gravel caught my attention right away. When I saw it I thought: it’s the perfect canvas.”
What did you choose to depict on the frame of your Flexy Gravel?
“It’s a representation of my personal experience, into which I have woven some general themes such as life and death. On the top tube and forks, I’ve painted my dog, who has been living with me for 17 years: we’ve grown old together. Then, I recreated my travels on the bike. There are trees because I’m a devoted environmentalist. I also drew my dad, who I lost some time ago, and the Pale di San Martino mountains where he took us on holiday: I like the idea of seeing his face as I ride. Down the seat tube I created a pattern made up of colourful balls. They look like sweets, to remind me to eat so I keep my energy up. Towards the hub you’ll see my classic faces, an element I’ve been creating for years, and scribbles, which I interpret as a symbol of freedom and allowing yourself to be carried by your emotions.”
Happy with the result?
“It took me almost a month to do and it was tiring. There were times I wanted to give it all up. But I’m really happy with the result. I think this Flexy Gravel has a really smart appearance.”
When do you go out on your Titici?
“Almost all the time. I have chosen not to have a car, the Flexy Gravel is my companion everywhere I go: on road or on gravel. I do about 400 km every week.”
Knowing the urban environment so well, what do you think about cycling in cities?
“Bikes are becoming increasingly prominent, they’re taking over urban spaces. This looks like a positive change: I see more cyclists, more cycle lanes, more happy people.”
At Titici, we’re proud of the chance we have to work with Mr. Di Maggio. This collaboration has brought together the art of making bikes and the art of painting, in a collective love for unique projects.