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Are motorcycles works of art?

motorcycle poster
A to Z of Motorcycles


Riders love their bikes for a variety of reasons and one of the most important is its aesthetics. But are motorcycles works of art?

motorcycle poster
A to Z of Motorcycles

Artists and animators Mark Giblin and Gav Barbey think so and have started a company, A to Z of Motorcycles, to sell their motorcycle art posters. They are made using a unique technique of pouring paint, photographing the pieces and compiling them on computer. Watch Gav at work in the above video.


Mark has loved motorcycles since he was 12 when he sat on a Moto Guzzi Le Mans in a London motorcycle show. “There is something about the way that they are completely visible but at the same time people have made them look so fantastic. I do love it and I’ve even written a song about my (Kawasaki) Z9,” he says.

Gav isn’t a rider. “I’d die in about two seconds,” he says. But he does admire motorcycles. “Not every motorcycle is a work of art. For me there is an incredible engineering form and function. They’ve got to work so there has to be a function, but there is also a multiple range of forms.”

The pair began working together on kids’ animations, moved into making pictures of trucks, then cars and finally motorcycles. Gav uses Akwa glass and tile paint, but pours it on rather than brushing it on so it takes on its own 3D form.

He says trucks and cars were simple compared with motorcycles which have so much detail. So he adopts a different approach to making the artworks.

“I pull the bikes apart in my head, mostly from photos, then sketches each part,” he says. “I pour them separately and then we photograph them, deep etch them and put them together in a computer like a Meccano set. It’s like making an Airfix model. It’s more than a static picture.”

They have so far made a large A to Z of Classic Motorcycles poster and are working on a modern bike version, plus they have done posters of eight individual bikes, including the Norton Commando, Indian Scout and Harley Electra Glide.

Mark says the end product has a “really weird feel about it that looks real, but draws you in”. If the posters sell well, he opes to be able to one day buy that Le Mans.

You can help Mark achieve his Moto Guzzi ambition by buying your own piece of art from their website. Posters are A2 sized, (420mmx594mm) matt cello glazed on good quality paper and retail for $35.

A to Z managing director Tracy James says they also produce greeting cards and plan more products in coming months, from t-shirts to calendars. She says they are also seeking retail stockists and will be doing market stalls around Sydney every weekend.