RALLY BIKERS: spirit and legacy
Michel Leroy PHOTOGRAPHER
May 10 – 22, 2011
Thursday, May 12th, 2011 6-8pm
126 Front Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Rally Bikers: spirit and legacy
Rally Bikers define an instant community with a singular common interest. Attending motorcycle rallies throughout the American West allows me to create portraits of riders ranging from 7-year-old kids on 90cc hill climbers, to middle age firemen on 1200cc road bikes, to sunburnt grandparents on 1800cc luxury touring marvels. The style is unrelenting black and white images that reveal texture and detail beyond the casual glance.
Meeting bikers as we pass on the street, in a parking lot or at a car wash, I photograph riders in a portable studio to capture that moment just after we meet, that point of simple truth while shared humanity remains in our eyes. The studio serves to remove visual distractions and allows pause for a more intimate portrait, a brief moment to reveal the truth and veneer of identity.
Through portraits of Rally Bikers, I am looking for the significance of the individual in the community that defines them. Biker clichés do little to describe ordinary people who live for the freedom of open roads, camaraderie and the love of bikes. The patches, leather and tattoos are trappings of a lifestyle that riders have chosen as a release from the everyday obligations of a 9 to 5 weekday existence.
This portfolio of images represents the diversity of bikers through the people who keep the spirit and legacy of the community alive.