Dario Pegoretti is one of the most colorful characters in the bicycle industry. His hand-painted frames (coupled with his technical innovations and custom drawn Columbus and Deda tubes) are some of the most recognizable in the industry. Whether the paint schemes are to your taste or not, Dario injects a refreshing and typically Italian dash of color and panache to the world of the custom bicycle.
Luigino Milani was your teacher when you did your apprenticeship. In regards to your painting, who has been your influences? Do you have a favorite artist? Regarding the paint, I have many influences. Not only from artists or paintings, my interest focusing around street art, informal from the 60’s but sometimes I have taken some ideas from women magazine or from advertising banner or anything what inspired me.
Images Peter Auer
One of your frames, the Big Leg Emma, is named after a Frank Zappa song and another, the Marcelo Thelonius refers to the jazz great Thelonius Monk. Do you listen to music while you paint, and how necessary is music to inspiring you? Music is an important part of the shop, the first thing that we do in the morning when we arrive here is to push on the amplifier button.
Have you always been a painter? When did you start painting your frames? No, I am not a painter, we open our paint shop in the 97, without any background, was a jump in the dark, the results are not too bad.
Do you only paint frames, do you paint canvasses as well, or keep a sketchbook? Sometimes I paint on canvas or paper but just for myself.
Images Frederik Dieryckxvisschers
A technical question: what paint do you use — enamels or something similar? The paint sequence is primer, base coat, clear coat. But for many of my ‘WILD’ paint schemes I use piece of newspaper, powder, water color, coffee grain as i feel myself on that day.
A customer can request a particular color scheme when ordering a Pegoretti. Which is your favorite scheme to paint, and why? There is no favorite, I like all of them.
The Ayers Rock color scheme is obviously influenced by the dot painting of the Australian Aborigines. What is the significance, did you visit Australia and Uluru? I have never been in Australia yet but the aboriginal art touched me deeply because is clean and honest and deeply personal, the harmony of the colors that they use are amazing and they reflect the spirit of the soil.
You could have become known as a great Italian frame builder on the strength of your frames alone. How has your art helped you define yourself? It is true that i have ‘used’ my paint schemes to give to my products a strong imprint but for the first I am a frame builder and the technical part of the job, the quality of the craftsmanship, the development of new solution or tube set is more important than the aesthetic part. At the beginning my paint scheme was painted just to try to change some conventional rules, at the end of the game a frame have a surface that I can use in many different way to express myself or my thoughts.
Portrait of Dario courtesy of bikeportland.org
All images courtesy of pegoretticicli.com unless otherwise stated. Thank you, Dario, for the inspiration!