Art is an expression of inner beauty and emotion in so many forms. Whether it’s oil on canvas, music, performance art, two-wheeled sculpture, or lifestyle photography, all represent and evoke emotion, and more importantly showcase that inner self in the creator’s work. Michael Lichter’s Motorcycles as Art: Eternal Combustion exhibit at the 70th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally illustrates what humanity is capable of producing.
If you’re not familiar with Michael Lichter, his photography has graced the pages of multiple motorcycle magazines since the ’70s. As a fan of all art, especially motorcycles and the lifestyle that surrounds them, Lichter curated his first Motorcycles as Art exhibit at the Journey Museum in nearby Rapid City, South Dakota, during the 2001 Sturgis rally. When the Legendary Buffalo Chip approached him to bring the exhibit to its gargantuan grounds for 2009, he obliged because he felt it would bring more exposure to motorcycles and art. “I was quite resistant when I first got the invitation, but they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. The whole idea for me to move from Rapid City to Sturgis was to make the exhibition available to more people,” Lichter states. He may be referring to the 7,000–square-foot Michal Lichter exhibit hall that the Buffalo Chip constructed to house his annual exhibitions. Lichter had another stipulation that the show be free to the public. The Chip agreed.
“I was quite resistant when I first got the invitation, but they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. The whole idea for me to move from Rapid City to Sturgis was to make the exhibition available to more people,”
This year, Michael Lichter’s 11th Annual Motorcycles as Art: Slant Artist-An Eccentric View on Motorcycles and Art features Jeff Decker. There will be an eclectic display of motorcycles and wall art displaying Decker’s personal collection, along with pieces from Decker’s friends and other artists, filling the gallery. Decker will be working on a new sculpture in the gallery for several hours each day and will be available to field questions about his work and art in general.
Last year’s Eternal Combustion exhibit featured some of Lichter’s favorite photographs throughout his career, which he showcases every five years or so, along with some of the finest, most intricate displays of rolling sculpture from a plethora of talented artists within the custom bike-building sub-culture. We were on hand to capture the magic. Here’s a look at the 2010 exhibit. We’re excited for 2011.
This 11th Annual Motorcycles as Art exhibit featuring the work of Jeff Decker and friends will be open to the public from August 6-12; from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free. HB