Custom Motorcycles as Self-Expression
Exhibition Dates: September 10 – November 22, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 7, 5-7pm *Bring your motorcycle and park it in our courtyard!*
Curators’ Talk & Gallery Walkthrough: Saturday, September 21, 11am More info (RSVP required…)
Since the invention of the motorcycle over 100 years ago, creative individuals have endeavored to improve performance and enhance the aesthetics of their vehicle of choice. Motorcycles, as symbols of personal freedom, are often the “canvas” for that personal expression. California, the heart of American motorcycle culture, is a hotbed of creativity on wheels.
Countersteer examines personal expression through the medium of the motorcycle. From its beginnings as a motorized bicycle, the motorcycle has inspired creative modifications matching its great versatility: a bike can be a city commuter, long-distance tourer, track racer, backcountry explorer, drag racer and much more. In every guise, when motionless, motorcycles become aesthetic objects that people have, from day one, adorned with unique painted surfaces and hand-crafted parts; the personal expressions of their makers.
Countersteer features fourteen custom built motorcycles, each reflecting a particular purpose and creative sensibility. The exhibition starts almost where it all began, with a 1909 Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It goes on to include a rideable parts-bin special named Pixie, built in 2013 by a team of artists for an annual competition and party. Other bikes in the exhibition were built for show, for racing or just for tearing up the avenues for the pleasure of riding. In addition to the bikes on display, a glimpse into motorcycle culture and spirit comes from paintings, sculptures and even a quilt made by artists inspired by their motorcycle dreams and riding exploits.
Countersteer is guest co-curated by Danny Aarons and Phil Linhares.
This exhibition is made possible with support from Susan Chamberlin, Matt and Margaret Jacobson, and Russ McClure.
Top image: (purple) John Martin, Chopper (cardboard sculpture), 2010; (red) Jimmy Kilroy, Ducati 750 Monster, 1999/2002; (yellow) Cory Ness, Double Engine Bagger, 2015; (blue) Jul Neimier, Rickman-Triumph, 1960s/2006-2019