Futurist motorcycles

Gerardo Dottori,

Gerardo Dottori, "Biker", 1924

Futurism discovered and celebrated the two-wheel speed of motorcycles, turning them into one of its most important symbols.

“Slicing air in two with a motorcycle was the new image-symbol of the time,” Anna D’Elia declares in her book, “Universo Futurista” (Edizioni Dedalo, Bari 1988).

Professor D’Elia explains that the image was suggested by “Dottori, Depero, Galli, Pannaggi. The 20th-century centaur recalled the mythological appearance of the Minotaur and proposed new fusions of animal and metal qualities. Balla and Depero’s prophecies were becoming reality. A new ideal of beauty emerged, and was immediately formalized by Marinetti: ‘From the chaos of new, contradictory sensitivities, a new beauty is born that we Futurists will use to replace the previous one, and which I call geometric and mechanical splendor.”

“Aeropoet” Bruno Giordano Sanzin (Trieste 1906-1994) echoed Marinetti’s announcement with a 1924 poem titled “In the Arms of Speed the Goddess”: “The motorcycle jumps, then intoxicated with joy hurls quivering on the dusty road. / I run and run, but I never seem to be fast enough, and I want to increase speed by angrily pushing on the lever. / The machine restores its strength and doubles its speed, / now wheels don’t touch the ground anymore: they fly, and fly…”

July 31, 2015