The man behind the book is Sheffield based Andrew G Smith and his style is somewhat unique but also fits in with the 'way of the cyclist' quite well. Firsty there is no lens play, gadgetry, filters of even photoshop style airbrushing at work - instead he simply, but creatively, photographs the action of the Tour de France on his television set which creates 'noise' in the form of distortion and blurring. Smith says of this: 'I think that approach has something that satisfied the inclusive, everyman appeal of cycling'. And he is right, this is art, but it is art that anybody can play at, though not to the applied standards of Andrew Smith I dare add!
These pictures are not sharp, magazine edits that we see in cycling weekly adjoined to text transcribing the days events - this is image at it's least edited yet each one tells a story and that's the whole point, these images are supposed to convey effort, emotion, endurance and that's where they beat polished magazine edits well into submission. This book is beyond pictures on paper, this really is art.
10 of those prints will be blown up for the exhibition at Look mum, no hands!, and though I haven't seen them in this form it will certainly be a sight to behold and will, without doubt, add to the mythical aura around the small book versions. The exhibition will run from Saturday right through to the 26th, but if you simply can't get down to London to take it all in then the book can be purchased direct from the author HERE. It is £24.00 but it's worth the money, more so considering this is a 'second edition' launch of only 100 casebound copies - the 1st edition was a limited run of 60 launched in conjunction with an exhibition at Bank Street Arts in Sheffield in June this year, though this second edition is also a revised edition and features an introductory essay from Bill Strickland (Editor of 'Bicycling').
Dutch author and journalist Tim Krabbe describes the book as: 'Cycling was mythical, but it survived its visibility. In 'Vélo', it becomes a visible myth'. Which should be reason enough for anybody to want to take a look and divulge the content. Andrew G. Smith can be found on his website: ByMyI.com. The book launch takes place at 7pm onwards at Look mum, no hands! on Saturday 13th October and the artwork exhibition will run from then until 26th October - If you are in London it will certainly be worth a visit, and if you are not, then well, get there!