Antonio Colombo balances between the worlds of art, design, industry and culture, having run Cinelli for the past four decades and Columbus tubing before that. It’s fair to say Colombo exists at the epicentre of the Italian bicycle industry, but as a life-long fan of art and design, he also runs his own gallery “Antonio Colmbo Arte Contemporanea” in Milan, specialising in contemporary works of young Italian artists.
It is an honour and a pleasure to be selected for a photography contest, but in my case I prefer to call it one of images, of representations, of stories. I don’t have any particular experience in the field of photography like that of the other highly esteemed judges, but I have an obsession with images, and that’s why I have owned and curated my own gallery since 1998.
In making my shortlist, I saw that the fatigue, the victory, the drama, the exultation and the beautiful landscapes are all elements to be found with the very high quality of the participants. I appreciated the artistic and visual maturity of the entries; even from the amateurs.
I am aware that I did not choose any finish line photos, although admittedly there were some wonderful ones. To me, the beauty of cycling lies not only in the athletic gesture, but also in the human gesture. Knowing how to identify those human and also social aspects that cycling brings.
Standout images for me included Jonas Vingegaard and his partner Trine Marie Hansen, where the moment before the public triumph is told by that embrace that makes us see a very tender and familiar aspect of a true hero of the sport. Or among the different photos of the Roubaix showers, three women from the back who, just because we love the sport, make us understand where we are and the previous toil and adventure in the most legendary race.
In my 53 years of entrepreneurship, my motto has always been to look for the idea; “where is the idea?” Be it small or historic, of product or communication, the idea must remain central to the artwork.
In these photos I have seen many ideas which become gestures (the throw of the wheel, the signature on the little girl’s hand, the baby giving flowers, the hugs with Swiss nail polish, the hands holding coffee cups and so on) and which the good photographer-artist transforms into images that become narratives.
Here are my shortlists for the professional and amateur categories:
Will Palmer @willpalmer_photo
A pan at 1/4th of a…