With over 3000 auctions a week going through our shop, there is one auction that continues to gets more views than any other, our custom painted Colnago Master Pista from world renown graffiti artist Futura 2000. Yes it is $15,000 and no it is not over priced. It is a piece of art that comes with a story.
Futura is an American graffiti artist who got his start painting illegally as a bike messenger in New York‘s subways in the early seventies. Futura’s style was unlike a majority of graffiti artists who were doing lettering primarily. Futura pioneered abstract street art, which has since become more popular with artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey . Conversely, his aerosol strokes are regarded as different from those of his peers, as they are as thin as the fine lines achieved only through the use of an airbrush.
Within the cycling community Futura is most recognized for his 2005 collaboration with Lance Armstrong, decorating the infamous time trial wheel that featured 40 images designed to relay the complex meanings of Lance’s life.
Our Colnago Master Pista came from a 2007 collaborative effort between bike shop La Carrera, United Front and Colnago (supplying the 38 Colnago Master pista frames). The frames were part of an the art show, Look Ma! No Brakes!, where both legendary graffiti artists Futura and Stash decorated 38 of these custom painted Master Pista frames.
After the art show 33 of the frames found new homes, including the home of cycling enthusiast Robin Williams. The remaining 5 frames disappeared into the dark corners of Veltec’s warehouse, the US importer of Colnago at the time. When the Veltec warehouse closed in 2011, we purchased what according to our spreadsheet were 5 “custom painted Master Pista frames”. When the frames arrived we realized that we had just unknowingly stumbled upon the luckiest find in the history of The Pro’s Closet.
Since there had never been a Futura Master Pista on eBay before we put the first one up for .99 and let the auction ride. 7 days later, to our surprise, the auction fetched a whooping $12,000. Over the course of the next year we auctioned 3 more of the Futura frames off, all fetching similar price tags.
Today the last remaining Master Pista hangs in my office. Not only does the design inspire me every time I look at it but I am constantly reminded to be thankful for the opportunities I have been blessed with. To be honest, I hope this frame never sells, not only is it hard to put a price tag on art but this frame is the coolest auction to come through The Pro’s Closet.