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A legend that Harley riders must know - David Mann, master of motorcycle illustration

by May club 10 May 2018 0 Comments

West Ride's theme this season is " BLOWIN' IN THE WIND " and last season's theme " A PLACE IN THE SUN ". In addition to using music culture to explain the design concept, sharp-eyed friends will definitely see that there are more references in the visual image communication. The work of motorcycle art master David Mann; the desire for freedom and the image of an unfettered knight have always been displayed by West Ride.

As a Harley rider, if you like Chopper and Old School culture, you must have seen this strong American style painting in various motorcycle clubs, personal garages, some car body paintings or clothing printing, and even Related products throughout motorcycle culture, the leader, or originator, of this type of classic graphic art - was none other than David Mann (1940-2004).

David Mann was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He showed his talent for painting since he was a child. He devoted himself to the field of Pinstriping due to his hobby of hot rod car modification. During a trip to California driving a 1947 Chevy Coupe with a friend, he discovered a Harley-modified Chopper at a Custom Car House. He was deeply fascinated by the wild and unrestrained curved appearance. After returning to Kansas, he immediately bought his first Chopper. A motorcycle - a 1948 Panhead Harley, and at the same time began to create some paintings about the life of a motorcycle rider.

David Mann's first painting "Hollywood Run" depicts the lifestyle of Hollywood Outlaw. In a Custom Car Show, he brought his works and modified Harleys to the exhibition. As the only Custom Bike entry in the exhibition, this exhibition changed David Mann's career; because the judges also specially awarded new awards and trophies to David. Mann.

At the same time, his paintings also attracted the attention of the famous knight Harlan "Tiny" Brower at the time, and he was introduced to Ed "Big Daddy" Roth (author of Rat Fink). Ed Roth's Custom Bike was difficult to publish because it was not taken seriously by mainstream publications. So he set out to create the first motorcycle modification magazine "Choppers" magazine.

Ed Roth liked David Mann's paintings very much at first sight. In addition to publishing his paintings on the back page of Choppers magazine, he also commissioned David Mann to create a series of works. This is why the copyright signature of early David Mann works was Ed Roth.

In 1965, David Mann joined the El Forastero racing team founded by Tiny and Tom Fugle. Although El Forastero is classified as a controversial 1%er, you can also see how David Mann's paintings are truly described. That side of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMG). (Extended reading: About the knight culture of OUTLAW and the 1%er team )

In 1972, David Mann began cooperating with Easyriders magazine. With 30 years of artistic creation, his unchanging love for Chopper and his accurate depiction of the desirable attitude towards life have allowed his works to not only span motorcycles and riders in various periods. Life has also attracted the attention of modified car owners around the world. Many people even build their own Choppers in their garages based on David Mann's paintings.

An anthropologist who studied knight culture in New Zealand once commented: "David Mann is good at using surreal backgrounds, distorted skylines, diverse colors and imagination to convey the story of Outlaw Biker riding a modified Chopper. Celebrating freedom on the broad road, his paintings can always fully interpret the spirit of Easyrider." When you look at David Mann's works, they always awaken your original yearning for roads and freedom.

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