Buffalo Chip: Avante-Garde Motorcycle Art

2011 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

The Legendary Buffalo Chip is proud to announce this year’s distinctive yet unconventional theme for Michael Lichter’s 2011 Motorcycle as Art exhibition.

Sure to be a spectacle of a masterpiece, this year’s exhibition, "Slant Artist-An Eccentric View on Motorcycles and Art" will focus on avant-garde artist, Jeff Decker.

This year’s Motorcycles as Art exhibition will focus on artist Jeff Decker. In addition to Decker’s ten beautiful bronze sculptures, there will be a large and eclectic display of motorcycles and wall art culled from his personal collection, friends and other artists filling the 7,000 square foot gallery.

Decker will also be working on a new sculpture in the gallery for several hours each day during which time visitors can chat and ask questions from the basics of "lost wax" bronze casting process to motorcycle history or how "Slant Artists", the incredible motorcycle racers who climb steep inclines against the clock and each other, have impressed him.

Each person will be challenged to come away with their own understanding of Decker’s inspirations, aspirations and what makes this eccentric tick, and perhaps what inspires artists in general.

Bikes from Decker’s own collection include historic pieces such as his 1914 Harley-Davidson Twin (that he rode across the United States in the Motorcycle Cannonball race) to unusual bikes like his 1930 H-D DAH hillclimber or a 1949 H-D WR racer.

He has personally customized machines that were previously considered off-limits, like his 1941 Crocker and his 1952 Vincent. Add to the mix his respect for bikes like ex-pro-boarder Jason Jessee’s 1949 Black Tibetan Panhead and many of Cole Foster’s bikes and you can see how diverse this artist really is.

Decker’s interests lie not only with motorcycle related sculpture, but all aspects of motorcycling. With his fascination for motorcycling history and with the aid of the impressive library on the subject he has built, Decker’s understanding is thorough and deep. He could easily fill a position for historian or archivist if one were posted, and if he were looking.

Of course, Decker is much too busy and happy doing what he does, which in addition to sculpting has him collaborating with Langlitz Leather, reviving great motorcycle history and many such endeavors throughout Italy and Japan.

The passion for motorcycling and art that you sense in Decker’s presence can be traced back to his childhood, when his father took him along on visits to Steve McQueen, Ed Roth and Von Dutch.

As a young aspiring artist, he worked with well-known sculptor Stanley Wanless. Today, Decker’s own sculptures (the only sculptures to be licensed by Harley-Davidson) are collected and exhibited around the world. His commissions have grown in scale to the point that a 16′ 5,000 pound bronze now graces the entrance to the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee.

Regarding his involvement with the Motorcycles as Art Exhibition, Jeff Decker states "Since the inception of Michael Lichter’s museum quality exhibits in Sturgis, I’ve been able to participate in them often and am extremely honored to be the focal point this year."

An internationally anticipated exhibition showcasing the works of the most influential master builders and artists in motorcycling, Motorcycles as Art has become the prominent exhibition of the annual Sturgis Rally.

Assembled by world-famous motorcycle photographer, Michael Lichter, the exhibition captures the personal expression, creativity and spirit that pervade the history and culture of motorcycling. As in past years, Motorcycles as Art curator, Michael Lichter will work with Decker, as well as the additional artists and builders involved, and the staff of the Legendary Buffalo Chip to create the themed exhibition that will fill the 7,000-foot exhibition hall.

Michael Lichter says: "These yearly exhibitions are not only a labor of love but a chance for me to openly express my creativity and introduce friends and colleagues to a venue and audience that have been incredibly loyal and generous, I immensely enjoy these exhibitions and know that this year’s collection will be unlike any other."

Rod Woodruff (Buffalo Chip Owner) says: "The guests at the Chip absolutely love Lichters’ exhibits. They have become a hallmark of our Sturgis Rally Week festivities. No other showcase in the industry exemplifies the spirit, passion and complexities of the motorcycling culture. We’re honored to capture the brilliance of Michael Lichter and Jeff Decker at this year’s exhibit, right here at the Chip."

The most celebrated exhibition of its kind, the Motorcycles as Art exhibition provides Sturgis rally-goers with a memorable and irreplaceable experience at the Legendary Buffalo Chip. Visit HYPERLINK "http://www.motorcyclesasart.com" www.motorcyclesasart.com for more information. This year’s exhibit sponsors include Hot Leathers, Handy Lifts, Interstate Batteries, Progressive Insurance and Spectro Oil.

Pics by Michael Lichter

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