Of Choppers and Chiaroscuro

Masters of the thriving genre of Harley art, David Uhl and Scott Jacobs depict life high on the hog

Thunder in the Streets begins with a gala opening called "Black Tie, Black Leather," which includes the artists signing prints of their paintings, live jazz, a catered meal, more motorcycle art by St. Louis-based creators, biker memorabilia and a bunch of motorcycles. The 12 or so bikes on display will include several classic Harleys, as well as a group of Indian-brand motorcycles manufactured in the 1930s, '40s and '50s. Foreign-auto-garage owner and amateur car racer Reid Vann is lending these gorgeous cycles for the occasion.

How do we reconcile the image of the beer-swilling biker sporting a ZZ Top beard with that of the celebrity millionaire who plunks down $25,000 to hang a Uhl or Jacobs original above the mantel? They're looking for the same thing: a rebellious, snarling engine surrounded by beautiful bike.

"Summer of '27" by David Uhl
"Summer of '27" by David Uhl

Thunder in the Streets ... The Motorcycle as an American Icon is on view at the St. Louis Artists' Guild, 2 Oak Knoll Park, April 30-June 6. The opening party "Black Tie, Black Leather" begins at 6:30 p.m. April 29. An additional opening reception takes place from 1-3 p.m. April 30. Call 727-6266 for tickets or more information.

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