New Acquisition · Untitled by Carlos Rolón/Dzine

Dzine is a Chicago-based artist whose Untitled 2008 custom bicycle sculpture was recently donated to the Nerman Museum.

Dzine has worked for years straddling the boundary between art and music and continues to collaborate with an international roster of DJs and musicians. Reflecting on his custom vehicles, dating back to 2007, he stated: “I made a customized bike for the Brooklyn Museum show with the video screening on it. Then that got me thinking about my parent’s generation and the Puerto Rican diaspora, which inspired a custom boat with laser lights and a sound system . . . that was the beginning of my custom position. Then I discovered a whole culture of people making these costly creations that didn’t really do it for money. They’re driven by passion, which reminded me of why I wanted to be an artist in the first place.” In addition to low-rider bicycles and the speedboat, Dzine has customized a cycle rickshaw and cars.

Dzine was born in 1970 and raised up in southwest Chicago and attended Columbia College, but he is essentially self-taught. He works with a studio team and no longer outsources various structures, as he has been accepted into the tightly knit custom-car culture community.

He creates installations and sculptures in many formats, and his paintings deal with themes of sound, color, line, poetry, and identity. Dzine’s work in the 2005 group exhibition Lost in Music at the former JCCC Gallery of Art incorporated tiny glass beads (a wallpaper process) which imbued his pieces with a vibrant jewel-like, surface effect.