Saturday night, February 7th 2009 was the platform from which a variety of excitement was launched. Being that most of Los Angeles had lived with the wonderful, if not somewhat daunting rains the whole week, the break in the weather was just what the Dr. ordered. The people wanted to have a break from the wetness for just a minute, and got their wish on just the right moment – Saturday night! They showed up in droves for Harley-Davidson’s “The Art of Rebellion”, a showcase of the fine art world’s best and brightest on their familiar wall-adorning mediums of choice, as well as a special piece produced by each on the company’s Sportster 883 gas tanks.
There were customized Sportster rides parked out front in various exciting colorways and setups.
Apparently one could sign up to test drive the ride, which was being displayed, albeit somewhat awkwardly at first, by the model on hand.
Prominently on hand as we entered was an original piece by an artist who’s name escapes me…
Seriously, these days how could Shepard Fairey not come up in conversation? From his exploits on the streets to his well-publicized antics with the authorities of late to his largely heralded museum and gallery exposure, the Shep is no stranger to walls of all sorts. I thought it was interesting that this piece had no overt OBEY or Andre references, working more as a pop culture illustration of his very recognizable oeuvre. Note how Johnny is totally wrecking the neck of that axe. In true form for Fairey, I did the Google search and found an image that bore strong resemblance to his renditionon a RamonesWorld.com page.
Enter: the main gallery room. This spot was jam packed throughout the show. There was a security force at the entrance only allowing the number of people to enter that equalled the number that were leaving. Thus, no real flow issues once you’re inside.
And the first sight to see is the lovely and talented Tara McPherson, holding court amidst a curious court of appreciative fans.
Tara soon makes the break and rocks out with photographers-to-the-stars, Roman Cho (left) and Tatiana Wlls (at right with random guy caught in her hair).
Tara McPherson artworks
Tara’s gas tank with transfixed fan photographer just behind.
The beauty that is Alex Pardee…
…and the gas tank that is his willing canvas.
Artwork by Shawn Barber
Shawn’s nipple-acious tattooed portrait tank.
The wonder and visual pleasure that is the Clayton Brothers.
Artwork by Oliver Vernon
Mark Dean Veca’s work is easily describable as “magnetic”, satisfying and interesting on many different levels.
And his gas tank would totally make sense as an actual production line. Just Imagine.
ASleezy Riders by photographer Steven Stone.
The legend that is Frank Kozik.
Bob Dob representing his SoCal roots in his new body of works.
And the Bob Dob himself. A nicer guy you are wont to meet, and a genuine pleasure to be around.
The greatness of Alex Pardee signing the Shepard Fairey-designed posters for fans. This is the only photo I shot in the private area, so don’t ask ‘cuz I’m not tellin’.
And the million dollar smile of Shawn Barber that pretty much sums it all up for this part of the roll. And now, with thanks to Berman, the Harley-Davidson crew and the amazing artists involved, we shift gears and transition into our next exciting adventure…
-Brought to you by the goodness of Nathan Spoor