In reaction to my former post, this one written by Tom Zimberoff, author, writer & photographer of the 2 best selling hard cover books Art Of The Chopper 1 and Art Of The Chopper 2. You can visit his website to buy his books and some collectibles from your favorite builder.
"Cyril, Happy to see all of you posing happily. As for the question, “Why is it that you rarely see a picture of more than 3 well known builders together?”, is it because they are usually posing for 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-place trophies?
How will you be remembered indeed? I agree, it will be for your work. But what is the mechanism for that remembrance? Will enough people be riding your motorcycles thirty years from now? Will you be scraping your octogenarian knuckles on steel still building them? Will you have designed the latest Harley-Davidson bolt-on knick-knack, if there still is a Harley-Davidson? Will your work be collected and displayed in museums? Will it be in a critically-acclaimed book?
Surely your advertising agency experience has led to a practical knowledge of the publishing industry. Your understanding surely includes the characteristics that distinguish magazines and books by both economics and creative content, as well as by the diverse prerogatives of their publishers and authors. So I find it hard to believe that you could somehow imagine any number of periodicals stacking up, so to speak, against the stature of a single book thirty years from now. Incidentally, as you may know, “Art of the Chopper” has led to a curatorial assignment for the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences in association with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC to create an exhibition in 2008. Nearly two hundred of my prints will hang adjacent to as many as seventy motorcycles, categorized by artist. After three months in Daytona Beach, the installation will tour nationally. How will the publicity associated with that enterprise affect your commemorations to come? I wrote my books because, as recently as a few years ago, no magazine published had attempted to invoke an intellectual rationale for how a motorcycle could be called a work of art. No magazine published had yet put the creator of such a thing on a pedestal next to the work itself. The first publication of any kind to do so was “Art of the Chopper.” My job is to create an archive for posterity. “Art of the Chopper” is a chronicle of the achievements of your peers, Cyril. There is no equivalent to AOTC in the magazine world and certainly nothing belched forth by a reprobate and unconscionable excuse for a book publisher who tries to hack up a fast buck at the expense of one pioneer’s earnest efforts. (You know who they are.) Such copycats are morally, intellectually, and qualitatively corrupt. But they speak for themselves, and I digress.Not long ago, every magazine article was about the OWNER of the bike and which manufacturers made its component parts. Any mention of the artist who created it was perfunctory and the text was seldom better than trite. So, too, were the photographs. There was nothing resembling a consistency of artistic taste represented in the periodicals. The coverage of any given motorcycle was limited to obligatory commercial patronization before AOTC came along. Editorial write-ups in that context are respectable enough. They are what they are. But what is art? And who defines it? Since the publication of “Art of the Chopper,” do you think things have improved—–just a little bit? Finally, no one has shown more respect for what you do than I have. That said, neither you nor your peers will be remembered as so-called “celebrity” builders. That’s a silly thought. For one thing, the very nature of celebrity is fleeting. As we agree, you will be remembered for the quality of your work as an artist, just as I will be remembered for the quality of my own. Best regards, Tom Zimberoff"