Richmond Art Center Richmond Art Center



Custom Motorcycles as Self-Portraits

Since the invention of the motor vehicle, creative individuals have endeavored to improve performance and enhance aesthetic qualities of their vehicle of choice. Motorcycles, as symbols of personal freedom, are often the medium, the “canvas” for personal expression. And California, the heart of the American motorcycle culture, is a hotbed of creativity on wheels.

This exhibition is centered on personal expression through the medium of the motorcycle. From its humble beginnings as a motorized bicycle, the motorcycle has inspired creative modifications matching its great versatility – it can be a street machine, a long-distance touring bike, a track racer, a mountain endurance machine, a drag racer and more. The rider is exposed, an integral part of the machine, out in the open. But when it is still, it can become an aesthetic object, with painted surfaces and hand-crafted parts that are unique, the personal expression, the intended self-portrait of its maker.

Countersteer is an exhibition of works by artists and engineers making motorcycles their own. It will include a dozen custom and classic motorcycles ranging from Harley-Davidson’s first V-Twin to a rideable Parts-bin Special assembled by a team of artists, just to see if they could. A glimpse into motorcycle culture and spirit will come from paintings and sculptures by artists inspired by their own riding exploits. Each machine in the collection represents the vision of an individual of out running, out maneuvering or just out shining the field of stock machines.

Countersteer is guest co-curated by Danny Aarons and Phil Linhares.

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Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, California 94804

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