Czech brand Festka has collaborated with artist duo Ondrash & Kasparek (Ondřej Konupčík and Radim Kašpárek) on a Festka Scout gravel bike in an astonishing finish.
"Ondrash & Kasparek's technique involves transferring acrylic paints from the surface of water onto canvas,” says Festka. “The original idea, which Radim Kašpárek had been working on for several years on his own, was developed and perfected by the artists together during the first lockdown when Ondřej was unable to devote himself fully to tattooing – an activity in which he's achieved great fame thanks to his unique abstract style.”
The technique produces spectacular paintings but applying it to 3D surfaces – such as those of a bike frame or component – represented a huge challenge.
"We'd been attracted to product design for some time and when the guys from Festka asked us if we'd like to try something with their frames, we were both totally up for it,” said Ondrash & Kasparek.
“We don't paint directly on canvas or a 3D object. We paint on the surface of water held in a shallow tank. We pour paint on the surface using self-made tools which we call paddles. They are specially designed to keep the individual colours in parallel stripes which we blow and manipulate into the desired shapes. The canvas or the 3D object we’re painting sits at the bottom of the tank. The transfer happens by releasing the water from the tank very slowly.”
The first two Festka frames decorated by Ondrash & Kasparek are available now and orders are open for custom-made frames or full builds.
The artists also offer the option of creating a painting with designs matching those of the frame.
The Ondrash & Kasparek treatment can be applied to any Festka frame except the ONE and Doppler.
You’re going to want to know about prices, aren’t you? Okaaaaay, if you’re sure. The Festka Scout pictured, with a Rotor 1 x 13 groupset and Enve G27 wheelset, is €25,990 (around £22,000).
Festka has produced loads of other eye-catching bikes in the past. We've covered the Festka Scalatore Mummy and the Festka Doppler as Bike at Bedtimes, and also the super-stylish bikes it produced to mark its 10th anniversary.
Artists have been involved in producing bike finishes for years, of course. You'll probably remember Damien Hirst's 'Butterfly Bike' – a Trek ridden by Lance Armstrong in the 2009 Tour de France – and only last week we told you that Cannondale had collaborated with fashion designer Stella McCartney on a series of 18 limited-edition SystemSix, SuperSix EVO and EVO CX bikes. Three artists who are part of Stella McCartney’s A/W 2021 collection produced the designs.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.