The fact is clear: if a few years ago American masters (and, in general, quite deservedly) were considered trendsetters in customization, then today their leadership is not so unconditional. Why, there, even the Americans themselves are beginning to little by little recognize this. Well, what kind of bear do you have to die over the mountain for this to happen!
Commenting on the situation on the American custom scene, Michael Lichter draws an interesting analogy with the phenomenon known in the history of rock music as the “British Invasion”. Rhythm and blues and rock and roll, which in the 50s spread like an avalanche from the USA around the world, returned as a boomerang to America in 1964–66, along with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds and others. The creativity of the "intruders", in turn, influenced the American rock music of that time. Similar parsley, according to Lichter, happens today with customization. Well, the theory, at least, is beautiful.
Its author has the right to draw such parallels - music once occupied not the last place in his life. In his youth, he was known as a good jazz drummer, and at one time he even earned his bread by playing in a group performing b-bop. That all changed in 1977, when Michael hung his drumsticks on a nail and set off on his first trans-American voyage on a 1971 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead just bought from his hands. On a journey, he began taking photographs of bikers. Over the next few years, photographs with captured episodes from the life of cowboys and motorcyclists brought recognition to the author. He began to exhibit as a professional photographer, and his work sold well. Among the buyers are not only private collectors, but also serious institutions, such as, for example, the French National Library in Paris.
Easyriders magazine began publishing photos of Michael Lichter, and exactly ten years after the first motorcycle trip (already with a contract with this publication in his pocket) he went on his third trip to Sturgis. Since then, the words "Lichter" and "Easyriders" - like "Lenin" and "party". In the same 1981, after his solo exhibition in Dublin was boycotted by the Irish Decency League, Michael became disillusioned with the “world of art”, refused public expositions and devoted himself entirely to commercial photography. The services of his studio in Boulder, Colorado, were also used by giants, let's name only one - IBM. He also shot advertisements for representatives of the American custom industry: Big Dog Motorcycles, American IronHorse, Perse Performance, Weld Wheels, Legend Air-Ride.
Today, the photographer and publicist Michael Lichter has about a thousand articles for Easyriders, the books Sturgis, Choppers: Heavy Metal Art, Top Chops, Billy Lane: Chop Fiction, Arlen Ness: The King of Choppers. In 2000, he returned to public expositions and since then annually organizes thematic exhibitions, which have been invariably successful among the public, breathing unevenly for customizing. Moreover, Lichter made it a rule to borrow interesting motorcycles to decorate the interior of his events with the most eminent masters. And those, do not be fools, willingly go to meet him.The Bottoms Up is a work by Tom Janson, a Swedish native and now head of Connecticut's Swede Built Custom Fabrication. The Bottoms Up is a work by Tom Janson, a Swedish native and now head of Connecticut's Swede Built Custom Fabrication. Super WLA by Chica Custon Cycles. The company was founded by Yasuyoshi Chikazawa, better known to us as Chika. Super WLA by Chica Custon Cycles. The company was founded by Yasuyoshi Chikazawa, better known to us as Chika. Canadian workshop of Trillion Industries under the direction of Derek Pauletto. One of the latest Rovad fighter works with a 2032 cc S&S Canadian workshop Trillion Industries led by Derek Pauletto. One of the latest Rovad fighter works with a 2032 cc S&S engine
One World Choppers is the seventh such exposition. Its peculiarity is that this time, besides motorcycles (according to the organizer, their selection should symbolize a “custom-international”), not Michael's original photographs were exhibited, as usual, but paintings and graphics by “import” artists who cultivate a motorcycle theme. And there are not so few of them, as you can see here: Dutchman Duckman (behind the pseudonym “Duck Man” the famous “3D customizer” Mark van der Kwak is hiding), German Michael Knepper, and Canadians Mark Lakursier (aka “Motor Mark ”) and Manon Elder.Motorcycle Works, founded by Norwegian Frank Pedersen for a long time, does not need recommendations among US chopper builders. Motorcycle Works, founded by Norwegian Frank Pedersen for a long time, does not need recommendations among US chopper builders.