The motorcycle has always been cultural shorthand for freedom and individuality. It’s why bikes have always appealed to independent thinkers from film stars and fashion icons to the most innovative musicians and artists. Now a new Triumph art collaboration is poised to take that appeal even further. And you could win one…
From the moment pop culture exploded in the late 1950s, the ensuing wave of individualism forged a link with life on two wheels – and throughout the years that followed – the Triumph emblem was emblazoned firmly on the fuel tank.
59 years of free thinking
Brando rode his own Triumph in the Wild One. Steve McQueen jumped on one in The Great Escape – along with his stunt double Bud Ekins who performed that famous jump. Elvis rode a Triumph, among other bikes, and bought them for the whole ‘Memphis Mafia’.
James Dean rode a Triumph and Bob Dylan chose the British bike when he made his controversial switch from folk to rock. Famous or not, for practically everyone born after the war, motorcycles quickly came to represent free thinking and a commitment to a particular way of life.
The birth of biker art
Today, the association is stronger than ever. Motorbikes mean freedom for everyone from Hollywood heavyweights like Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie to British icons such as Tom Hardy and David Beckham – and as often as not, a Triumph is the motorbike of choice. We’ve seen it in cinema, music, fashion and today, it’s reflected in the visual arts.
A thriving custom scene is just one way in which Triumph riders all over the world express their individuality. And from the biker Pop Art of Conrad Leach to the graffiti-inspired work of D*Face, the cultural mythology of the motorcycle has proved irresistible to contemporary artists.
D*Face is one of Britain’s leading ‘newbrow’ artists, and damn if he isn’t as sharp and clever – if not quite as surreptitious – as Banksy.
Peter Frank, American art critic
Meeting of minds
Triumph rider D*Face has a style that straddles Street Art, Pop Art and Punk – and he is as happy channelling Roy Lichtenstein as he is painting portraits of Jimi Hendrix or Kurt Cobain. He has made album artwork for musicians including Blink 182 – while remaining the only urban artist to have been featured on the cover of the fine art-focused Art Review. Now he’s taking his admiration for Triumph one step further, with a collaboration unlike anything he or Triumph have been involved in before.
A spirit stronger than ever
To celebrate the 59th anniversary of 1959 – the beginning of this cultural revolution and the Bonneville legend – D*Face and Triumph are collaborating on a stunning new customisation project.
Working closely with the team at the Triumph factory in Hinckley, D*Face will create three unique Modern Classic bikes for 2018, each one based on a model from the modern classics range. For the chance to win one, all you need to do is head to Triumph’s website and book a test ride on a modern classic.
Own a true work of art
D*Face pieces usually sell for five or six figures at the likes of Sothebys, Christies and Bonhams but, true to the Spirit of ’59, this promotion means anyone can own a unique piece of art… that you can ride.
There’s no denying the impact that motorcycling has had on the world in the last 59 years or the place of the Triumph brand within that culture. With the Spirit of ‘59 now set to reclaim the spotlight, that impact will live on, possibly for another 59 years and beyond.