Art of Rebellion

Harley-Davidson goes Lowbrow to attract hip, young fans

By Eric Putter, Photography by Putter Power Media

In the same week that it shuttered Buell and announced a sell-off of MV Agusta, Harley-Davidson sponsored The Art of Rebellion, an art show that enjoyed its one-night run at a trendy New York City gallery.

Based on the success of a similar gig in Los Angeles, Harley challenged 10 contemporary East Coast poster artists to create works of art that presented their vision of the spirit of rebellion, using Iron 883 gas tanks as their canvas.

Most of the artists, including a dude named Dirty Donny, one called Harpoon and The Pizz, also known as "The Lord of Lowbrow," used a combination of metallic and non-ferrous paints, but others applied silk screen and even denim to the Sporty tanks. Taking the rebellion theme to extremes, Art Chantry shot his tank full of holes with a .38 and lit it from inside, like a twisted Harley Jack 'O Lantern.

In addition to the tanks, posters and hipsters sipping red wine and PBR, a trio of Sportsters were stationed around the gallery: a stocker in basic, badass black, one used as a canvas for Frank Kozic's artwork and an old-school, metal-flaked chopper that had very few identifiable 883 Iron donor parts.

What's the future hold for this melding of art and biker culture? Harley's "Outreach Marketing" department plans to continue fostering The Art of Rebellion as an on-going event. Stay tuned for a new cadre of artists to present their Iron-tanked take on rebellion in a city near you.

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