Motorcycles, bourbon and street art collide: One-off LiveWire showcased at east London art gallery

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Until last week I could count on one finger the number of motorcycle events I’ve attended that included, skateboard screen printing, London street art, cult magazines and Wild Turkey, and still have a finger spare.

That all changed when Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire division, street artist D*Face and cult motorcycle magazine, Dice converged on the artist’s east London gallery, Stolen Space, for a curious event.

Dice contributor, Scott ‘Horsey’ Walker, said: “Dice Magazine pitched this idea to LiveWire and then to D*Face and said it would be great to do something in central London, as this sort of stuff doesn’t happen too often.”

D*Face LiveWire

There was no model launch or grand HD announcement, causing bemused journalists, awash with complimentary bourbon, to ask each other “what is happening here?”.

Ostensibly the event showcased a bespoke LiveWire, plus motorcycle jackets and helmets created by Mr Face.

The artist had the bike for around two months to both ride and gain inspiration for the final design that uses imagery that has become a de facto signature of the artist.

D*Face said: “The wing motif is something I have put up around London for the last 20 years, and a version of it is the wing or lightning bolt.

“So it kind of made sense in the connection with the motorcycle and electricity. I like bikes to be loud, it’s part of the surroundings, letting people know you are coming through, the louder it is the better it is.

Motorcycle helmet adapted by D*Face

“I was really conscious of riding a bike that was silent and how that would affect the riding experience. I was like ‘is it going to be less pure or is it going to be more pure?’

“When I rode it, actually it is a really pure form of riding. You don’t have any of the gears, you don’t have the noise that is disruptive, it is more like flying.”

The cover of issue 94 of Dice was also designed by the artist who has ridden and built bikes since he was a teenager. He has also worked with Triumph and Indian so has experience in one-off motorcycle livery.

The event featured giveaways of skateboards designed by D*Face with all three art forms; motorcycles, skateboards and street art, representing freedom.

Scott hopes a similar event could be realised upon the release of a new LiveWire model in the UK.

Stuart Prestidge

By Stuart Prestidge