Heavy Mettle: Art
31 imagesI have always been more comfortable with my brushes and a pencil than with my words. Perhaps my infatuation with creating visual imagery is somehow related to a deficit lurking in my left hemisphere. I have always been extremely fascinated with drawing and its inherent gifts about the nature of reality and its perception. I have found that endeavoring to draw has always been an enlightening injunction to discovering how the entire process actually happens. Starting with the mechanics and magic of light, building upon an understanding of structure, perspective and proportion. I believe all these inherent questions being answered has allowed me the opportunity to play. The process of rendering what I see, can then be transformed into a personal form of expression. With years invested in a proficiency in handling different mediums, I have become relatively comfortable with my craft (watercolor may take more lifetimes). Following the trajectory of attempting to master this process, I needed to direct my forces to a chosen subject matter. I have always been exceptionally moved by peering back through history, from the extreme ancient millennia to the more recent American centuries. My public oil painting career actually began in 1998 when I encountered archives and rich visual documentation of The Harley-Davidson Motor Co. I realized no artist had yet broached these beautiful old black and white images. My intent was to paint these wonderful snapshots in time with a technique/style reminiscent of the artists of the time. In studying oil painters, my favorites are all rooted around the turn of the last century… Incredible masters like Sargent, Sorrolla, and Zorn. My goal was to have paintings that appeared timeless, classic, not pieces you could connect with our more recent sensations in biker culture. Hence, my body of work has focused on events starting half a century ago and earlier. Looking in retrospect, the last few years have evolved into creating some exploratory compositions, playing off the antiquities but with a modern theme. The Steampunk series is a good example of this. I have also enjoyed integrating some of more current industry personalities into my depictions of historically relevant fictional events. Such as, Kevin Bean’re as the innovative thief in “Iron Horse Heist” and the late Jesse Combs as the WAVE, wrenching on her WLA. After all these 22-years of me having fun with Motorcycle Art, I think one of my clients summed up my work best with this saying: "Somewhere between a dream and a Memory”. Thank you all for dreaming along with me! David Uhl (2020) See more of David's work at uhlstudios.com
17 imagesWith a career now spanning three decades and counting, artist Scott Jacobs has consistently reached and then surpassed new heights. First recognized by Harley-Davidson Motor Company for his artistic talent, he was signed by them to a long-term fine art program in 1993. Since then, Scott has expanded into different genres entering himself into the mainstream of the fine art community. Included on that list is imagery of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Corvette, Ford GT and Mustang, exotic cars, wine still life’s, flowers, and many more. The common theme of his work; regardless of the subject is his hyper-photorealism. It is his mastery of this style that has enamored audiences around the globe. People from the West Coast to Eastern Europe and beyond enjoy his work as it currently hangs in more than 90 countries and has been displayed in over 30 museums. Scott’s medium of choice is acrylic and oil paint on Belgian linen and his tool is a paintbrush smaller than a pencil. Scott works from photographs but draws each and every subject out freehand with a pencil. He then begins the blocking in process and blending of multiple colors to achieve the desired values for a particular work. It is an arduous procedure that few artists would dare undertake. His reward is witnessing his collectors’ reaction when they see the finished product for the first time. With that, Scott has had a career of success few artists can claim. After years of achievement as an artist, Scott decided to get back into the retail business by opening a large gallery in Deadwood, SD called the “Jacobs Gallery”. This is a place where the public can view Scott’s originals, large collection of vintage motorcycles, limited edition prints, and his very own apparel line. The gallery also includes a studio where Scott paints when he’s not traveling the world making appearances. Scott Jacobs (2020) See more of Scott's work at www.jacobsgalleryshop.com
I'm not sure why I bought a stripped-down Shovelhead in 1977, but I do know this purchase changed my life.With camera around my neck, I set out on several cross-country trips and, by 1980, was shooting events and custom bikes for Easyriders Magazine. Assignments eventually since resulted in more than 1,000 published features on the best customs, 39 Sturgis Bike Weeks, nearly the same of Daytona, and numerous other events around the USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Europe. These assignments have made it possible for me to document the biker lifestyle for four decades. It also led to commercial work in the motorcycle industry, calendars, 11 coffee table books, and the series of limited-edition images from which the prints hanging here are examples.
Since I bought that first Harley, custom motorcycles have become immensely popular and evolved considerably, as has the culture surrounding them. It was once thought of as something for outlaws and renegades, but by the mid-1980s, perceptions changed, and it became not only socially acceptable to pull up all clad in leather looking tough on a big Harley, it became cool! Motorcycle gatherings grew in number and attendance, and for better or worse, they became more organized and commercial into the 2000s. The days when "we just pulled over to the side of the road, and after a little partying we'd sleep where we fell" as Sonny Barger, a past president of the Oakland Hells Angels wrote, seemed to disappear in seemingly direct correlation to the attention motorcycles received on television.
Year after year, motorcycling grew year after year until the 2008 crash. All bets were off. Both riders and the motorcycle industry suffered a big hit. The outlook seemed bleak, but thankfully, beneath the surface, a new generation was coming of age with a different set of interests, concerns, priorities, and ways of being. A revival is underway with less regard for what people ride and the accouterments of the culture, and more attention is given the things that count, like getting out to ride and sharing the experiences with friends.