Buffalo Chip Campground, SD (May 11, 2011)- The Sturgis Buffalo Chip is proud to announce that the theme for Michael Lichter’s 2011 Motorcycle as Art exhibition will be “Slant Artist-An Eccentric View on Motorcycles and Art”, and will focus on avant-garde artist, Jeff Decker.
The exhibition will be free of charge and will be open daily from August 6-12th. A large majority of the display will consist of Jeff’s personal collection including ten beautiful bronze sculptures. There will also be an eclectic display of motorcycles and wall art culled not only from his personal collection, but from friends and other artists filling the 7,000 square foot Lichter Exhibition Hall located on the grounds of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. 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.
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) as well as 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.
Decker’s passion for motorcycling and art can be traced back to his childhood, when his father took him along on visits to Steve McQueen, Ed Roth and Von Dutch. As an aspiring young artist, he worked with well-known sculptor Stanley Wanlass. 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-foot 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.”
In addition to Decker’s personal collection, there will also be an impressive array of notable bikes on display including:
- A 1941 Crocker Big tank Custom
- 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
- Wall of Death Bike 1930 Indian Scout
- 1949 JAP Speedway Bike
- Keith Nelson/Billy Lane Custom Motorcycle
- 1934 Harley-Davidson CAC Speedway Racer
Other noteworthy art pieces include an HD Daytona 1968 poster, several original portraits and sketches by legendary artist, David Uhl, a selection of rock show posters, and a Rat Fink Kustom Kulture poster, just to name a few.
Assembled by world-famous motorcycle photographer, Michael Lichter, the annual Motorcycles as Art 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.