Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Legendary Artist David Mann

Ghost Rider By David Mann
This is my favorite David Mann piece. Love all of his work.

David Mann was born September 10, 1940 in Kansas City, Missouri. David began drawing and painting at an early age. In high school his sketches focused on custom cars, hot rods and girls in bikinis. David's first job was pinstriping cars at Ray Hetrick's custom car shop in Kansas City.

He and his best friend
Al Burnett left Kansas City in customized Chevy coupe and drove to Santa Monica, California. In California he discovered Choppers at a local custom car shop named Bay Area Mufflers. David had never seen wildly customized motorcycles before. From that day on David Mann was HOOKED.

David returned to Kansas City, purchased his first motorcycle and chopped it. The Bike was a 1948 Harley-Davidson bought for $350.00. Then created his first painting, "Hollywood Run."

One day in 1963, with his painting "The Hollywood Run" tucked under his arm, David rode his custom Harley to the Kansas City Custom Car show. Mann entered the only custom motorcycle at the show. The Judges created a class and trophy for him. Mann's Harley was noticed by a one percenter named Tiny. Tiny become David's mentor. Tiny took Mann under his wing and David became a club member. Tiny also sent a Polaroid of David's "Hollywood Run" to Ed "Big Daddy" Roth.

Skip, Tom, Dave, Tiny and Turk

"Big Daddy" Roth bought David Mann's first painting. "Big Daddy" the famed customizer of cars and motorcycles. Roth was also the publisher of one of the first custom motorcycle magazines, Choppers. "The Hollywood Run" was published and printed for poster sales. Launching David Mann's his artistic career. David created his second painting "The Tecate Run." Again, it was published by Roth and printed for poster sales.

Big Daddy insisted Mann come to California, there painted 14 works for Roth. 10 were published and became posters. While in California David became immersed in the biker lifestyle.

In 1965, David returned to Kansas City. Working in the mail room at Scheffer Studios he met Dave Poole, who told him about the crazy motorcycle with green metalflaked paint he had heard of. It was David's. The next day, Mann rode the crazy Harley to work, and another friendship was born. Dave Poole recognized David's talent. Poole taught him architectural rendering and the use of an airbrush. By 1967, David was becoming talented architectural renderer as well as developing further as an artist. David also studied at Kansas City Art Institute. In the late '60's, Scheffer Studios moved to Clearwater, Florida, and David continued to grow as an artist.

David Mann in Kansas City 1970

In 1971 David Mann discovered a new magazine called Easyriders. In the back of the first issue was a classified ad for a motorcycle artist. David responded to the ad in late 1971, and the publishers responded to David. Mann's art became the Easyriders' centerpiece in 1973.

David Man in Clearwater Florida Mid 1970's

David Mann went on to create some of the most intense and captivating works of art to ever depict the essence of the biker lifestyle...

David Mann was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2004

David Mann left this world on September 11, 2004. The day after his 64th birthday. He is survived by his wife and three children. Mann's ashes were placed in a Harley-Davidson Sportster tank that was painted in his trademark "David Mann Red."

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