Motorcycle Art

Story by Stu//
September 1 2007

Have you ever walked into a vacant house or room and stared at the blank walls? They seem so bare that they’re blinding, cold, even inhospitable. You could probably compare the overall look to that of a winter white out. Yuck. However, the minute you hang a piece of art on those same walls, a transformation starts to take place, the look becomes warmer with each piece added. Art lightens your mood and it gives you something to ponder, you may look at a piece and wonder ‘how the heck did he/she do that?’ Art can intrigue, maybe define who you are, it can display your tastes and it can be a window into the soul. Art in the truest sense can be damn near anything as long as you personally like it.

Okay, so what does art have to do with motorcycles anyhoo? Well, probably everything. Motorcycles are in themselves artwork, you cannot look at any custom and say that there’s isn’t a whack of art involved. Even if you look at a stock bike you’ll see artistic lines that define the machine into a certain look or style, which in itself is art all over again. Design is art and art can be applied upon a design to give a whole new meaning to it. Okay. Hold it. If I keep this line of thought I’ll break into a chorus of quantum physics and really bore you to tears, not to mention completely confusing myself into needing therapy. I guess what I’m driving at is that sometimes art can be applied to something else to make for a neat look or even a statement.

Murals on walls are a good example of what art can do to the side of a cruddy looking building that may be considered art to begin with. It’s even a proven fact that wall murals will repel graffiti artists because those spray can wielding characters actually respect other people’s artwork and won’t mess with it. Artistic honour I guess. Good art stands out and is respected, if not revered. It’s also timeless. So what if you took a motorcycle, which is art, and applied some art to it? I guess you’d have two wheels worth of art on art which produces an artistic statement of art… In an artsy fartsy way. Oy, gettin’ dizzy here.

There’s a fellow I met that has a gallery in Trenton, Ontario, Doug Comeau is his name and his claim to fame is what he can do with a …pencil. Go ahead, grab an HB pencil, everybody’s got one or ten in a drawer somewhere. Twirl it around, not much to it, is there? Now… draw a stick man. Pretty skinny eh? Now picture your stick man morphing into what you would swear is a high speed, black and white photograph of a bull rider busting out of the gate at the Calgary Stampede. When you look at it you feel dusty and in need of a cold beer. How about a timber wolf – whose eyes seem to follow you around. Really, they do. I swear it. Maybe I should feed it something other than me. Or how about a little tree frog, innocently sitting on a branch; when you look at the frog you see a tiny glint in its eye? Upon closer inspection you see that the glint is actually the reflection of a little girl, in a dress, looking up at the tree frog from the lawn below. Picture this picture being somewhere around 30 inches long and 24 inches tall and so well done that you’ll find yourself wondering how the heck it’s possible; it must be a photograph, must be a computer. Nope, it’s just Doug, his pencils and talent that only comes around once in a blue moon. Now picture this piece laser etched into jet-black granite, which it is…Ooooo. Okay, okay…What the heck has this got to do with bikes you ask…Hang in there, I’m getting to it.

Doug, who is a long time biker, recently found himself the proud owner of a white Hummer. When he told me that he was getting a Hummer I was close to ordering him up some serious therapy and a session or two with Dr. David Suzuki. The Hummer turns out to be nothing more than a white sheet of paper to Doug. An artist’s canvas; complete with a big V8 and more options than a Harley. Okay, m-a-y-b-e.

Doug had recently completed a large close up of a pair of wolf eyes and he thought what the heck, enlarge it and stick it on the Hummer, which he did. When I saw the completed piece I just stood back in awe. This is… this is…WOW. Then Doug blew me away by producing two of the same decals for the side bags of my GS Adventure. He told me that these might look cool on the bare aluminium. I’ve got to admit, I’m not one for stickers or putting stuff on my bike that looks like it jumped off the Canadian Tire shelf, but these decals were four points past different and I couldn’t wait to see what they looked like, because let’s face it, the GS Adventure needs all the help it can get in the ‘looks’ department. We went at it and this is what it ended up looking like…Neat, eh?

Now there’s a Hummer and a two- wheeled version of a Hummer roaring around Canada sporting a pair of real spooky wolf eyes. Cool.

Doug also draws; correction, breathes life into motorcycles on huge pieces of museum quality paper and was the choice artist for the BMW MOA in Trenton for the ‘Land-O-Loon’ International rally. Check him out at and you’ll see what I mean. If you want to see your motorcycle, you, or your dog, horse, fish, house or extra-special person immortalised and framed just so, Doug Comeau is definitely the guy to see. Keep in mind that great art doesn’t come cheap and Doug is one of North America’s very, very best.

Now, let’s get back to talking about art… Wait, don’t’ leave, I’m on a roll! Damn, where’s my dog? She always listens.

Ride Far. Ride Safe! Stu


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