‘Tijuana Jail Break’ commissioned by Ed Roth for ‘Choppers Magazine’ by David Mann, 1966.
Artist David Mann loved motorcycle culture and his paintings bring his own personal experiences as a member of the El Forastero Motorcycle Club to life. El Forastero members were notorious for large-scale drug running operations and theft rings whose number one target were motorcycles back in the mid-60s—and many of Mann’s paintings document club events like biker weddings and debaucherous parties fueled by booze and drugs. Mann’s father was an illustrator and a member of the prestigious Society of Scribes & Illuminators in London—one of the most highly regarded calligraphy organizations in the world, and it is clear that Mann inherited some of his father’s artistic genes.
Mann started sketching images of fast cars during high school in which would lead him to his first gig as a car pinstriper. After high school Mann set out for California where he fell in love with motorcycles—specifically Harleys and began what would become a lifelong love-affair with biker culture in which Mann would express himself in every way possible. Eventually Mann would land back in his native Kansas City and upon his return would purchase his first bike—a 1948 Harley-Davidson “Panhead” and painted his first biker-centric painting dubbed “Hollywood Run.” The painting would be among the entrants to an art show held at the Kansas City Custom Car Show in 1963 where it caught the eye of El Forastero founders Tom Fugle and Harlan “Tiny” Brower who in turn hipped the publisher of Choppers Magazine, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth—the fast car enthusiast and artist responsible for the revolting hot rod-loving vermin Rat Fink.
Roth immediately commissioned Mann to create a large number of posters for Choppers and the works would launch Mann’s career, which included a long relationship with another magazine that is synonymous with biker culture, Easyrider. That alliance would last nearly until the moment which Mann would sadly draw his last breath at the young age of 63 in 2004. If you dig what you see in this post you can purchase reproductions of Mann’s art here. Prints signed by Mann sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Many of the badass posters that Mann created for Choppers Magazine included Roth’s name on the panel. Roth put his own copyright on the prints as they were commissioned works, but they were all done by Dave Mann.
‘The Blackboard Cafe,’ 1966.
‘Tecote Run,’ 1966.
‘Motorcycle Funeral,’ 1966.
‘Gas Stop,’ 1967.
‘Eulogy for Cannibal Willy,’ 1969.
‘El Forastero New Year’s Party,’ 1967.
‘Building a Chopper,’ 1967.
‘Born to Ride,’ 1967.
‘A Taste of Honey,’ 1968.
H/T: The Selvedge Yard
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Fearless female motorcycle stunt women take on the ‘Wall of Death’