Art of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle – Book Review

Art of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle

Art of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle is my favorite so far in this catagory of books specializing in Harley-Davidson. When it comes to motorcycle books they usually fall into one of several catagories and although I would personally call this catagory “coffee table books” a better catagory name might be “portrait photography” or “pictorial”. These are books featuring high quality photography reproduced on fine paper with attention to color reproduction on large pages that illutrate the beauty of motorcycles. I think all Harley-Davidson enthusiasts believe motorcycles to be objects of beauty and definitely find many models to be rolling pieces of artwork.

This book is a collection of portrait photography by David Blattel featuring over 100 stunning machines from the 1900’s to today’s high tech two wheeled mechanical accomplishments from America’s most successful motorcycle company. David Blattel has been a professional photographer since 1978 and has been shooting Harley-Davidson  motorcycles for the MoCo since 1989 when he was chosen to shoot for the Harley-Davidson calendar. What I find unique about this work is that David first identifies a motorcycle that is a piece of art and then finds a location that matches the personality of the machine for a very artful representation of our favorite Harley-Davidson’s. There are vintage pieces of two wheel machiney in front of old barns, rail road trains and prop driven planes. Bikes are shot on beaches, in mountains and in front if city scapes.

This book is organzied into 11 catagories or chapters. Each two page spread has a beautiful picture of a noteworthy artistic Harley-Davidson in stock form as would be on display in the Harley-Davidson archives. The motorcycle is set in a scenic spot picked just right to show off the motorcycles personality and each spread is accompanied by a short easy to read but insightful and informative article about the motorcycle from H-D expert Dain Gingerelli. Dain Gingerelli also worked on Harley-Davidson Museum Masterpieces that I reviewed a year ago.

Especially clever and attractive is the die cut window through the front cover showing a color photo from the inside of the book of the same picture depicting the same motorcycle in black and white on the color. The spine of the book has the title boldly foil stamped in shiney chrome like silver. The book and it’s contents are truley art! For more information on this book published by Motorbooks click here.