Art, Innovation and Adventure
What do you know about motorcycles?
Can a motorcycle be a work of art?
Is there a motorcycle way of life? If so, can you describe it?
Do you know any artists who have painted images of
The motorcycle was invented in
Germany in 1885. It was basically a
bicycle with a motor attached that
only went about 25 mph.
In 1903 William S. Harley and Arthur
Davidson made their first bikes in a 10’
x 15’ shed with “Harley-Davidson
Motor Company” hand-painted on the
From its simple beginnings in Germany
the motorcycle has become the most
widely used form of motorized
transport in the world with about 200
million currently in use world wide.
What do you think makes
motorcycles so popular all over
Motorcycles: Some Random Facts
The first Harley Davidson motorcycle built
in 1903 used a tomato can for a
Motorcycles have also changed the
practice of war. By 1918, fifteen years
after Harley-Davidson first made their
bikes publicly available, they had provided
most of the 20,000 motorcycles used in
World War I.
The "hog" association started when the
Harley-Davidson racing team's mascot, a
pig, was carried on a victory lap after each
race won by the team.
On September 24, 2009 Chris Carr set a
motorcycle land speed record of 367.382
mph on a BUB - Lucky 7 streamliner.
One of the obvious changes to the motorcycle has been an increased
focus on the way it looks. TV shows like American Choppers show the
new importance of a bike exhibiting its own character through
How does the way a motorcycle look reflect the characteristics
of the owner?
What do you think the owner of this bike would be like?
Could a motorcycle also reflect the kind of person its owner
wants to be?
What motorcycle films have you seen?
What are some stereotypes associated
with the motorcycle riders in those
Motorcycle movies, TV shows, and books
most often portray the stereotype of the
rough-and-tough bikers who are
members of gangs.
Even when the hero of a story is a
motorcycle rider he/she is labeled as an
outlaw or does not want to be a part of
Some parts of biker culture look at
racing, one of the most popular but also
overlooked uses of the machine.
Are there other images of
bikers you can think of?
Do you think of bikers in the
same way as these movies?
The motorcycles featured in the CAC exhibit are
Harley-Davidsons and Indians, the two longest
standing American brands. The bikes displayed
here are all painted by Jim Farr, known to many as
Dauber. Dauber is known for painting pin stripes
and flames free hand.
Rosson Crow was born in 1982 in
Dallas, Texas. She currently
lives and works in Los Angeles.
Crow primarily paints scenes of
historical places that have a
sense of nostalgia for the time
and place. While human
figures are not painted within
the scene, their presence is
implied as having recently left
or arriving soon.
Are there paintings in this exhibit
that have these qualities?
Rosson Crow researched motorcycle history and culture before creating the paintings
for this show. She wasn’t interested in creating images of real places and motorcycles.
Instead she wanted to create the feeling or idea of biker culture.
How do these neon signs relate to motorcycles?
Where would you see these kind of signs?
When you think of motorcycles do you only think of the machine itself
or of things that relate to it?
Crow was inspired by motorcycle
bars, literature about motorcycle
culture and even by artwork.
Compare and contrast the
painting by Crow and the one
below by Ed Ruscha.
Why do you think she made
those changes? What is she
How does Crow’s work relate
to motorcycle culture?
What objects are in this picture?
How do these objects relate to a motorcycle lifestyle?
What do you think this scene portrays?
After viewing Rosson Crow’s paintings
and learning more about motorcycles
how has your view of motorcycle
Do you think of motorcycles as works
of art? Why or why not?
Motorcycles unite people. The bikes shown in this
exhibit show the individualized, yet universal love for