How many different professional portraits have you posed for in your life?
Probably a couple, we'd imagine. A few from school (we're picturing the wistful, chin-on-fist pose that so many graduates take) and perhaps at your wedding.
And if you've sat for a few, you know that most posed portraits have something in common: They tend to feature people acting formal and there tends to be a distinct lack of bicycles within the frame.
But not at the Hammer Museum's annual Bike Night , where bicycle portraits are one of the centerpieces, portraits that are professional, art-nice, and feature people and their beloved bikes.
The next Bike Night is up on Friday, May 17 at the Westwood Institution. The marquee factoid is it is free -- yep, your bike portrait is, too (though it is downloadable -- you won't leave with a print) -- and it is very much built around La Via Two Wheels.
Or three. Or one. The party just asks that you arrive by bicycle, and here's why: The UCLA Bike Shop will be on hand to perform free tweaks. You'll be able to make your own custom reflectors and stickers, too, and apply them to your ride. You'll want to show off your sweet wheels on the Pedal Promenade, to applause and envious stares. And you'll want your gratis bike pic, too.
"BMX Bandits" will screen -- yep, that's the Nicole Kidman movie from the early '80s -- and a bunch of arty cycles'll be on show. There's a cash bar, music, and the galleries'll stay open late (and stay open free).
Hammer, you're a plum for doing this every year. And the timing couldn't be better: The Venice Boulevard CicLAvia wrapped a month ago, and the Wilshire Boulevard CicLAvia is a month away, so people who gotta be with their ride are looking for a social thing to do. This is it.