Each year at the Legend of the Motorcycle Concours, an artist is given a conference room at the Ritz to display motorcycle-related paintings or sculpture. Last weekend the room was occupied by the paintings of Conrad Leach, pictured beside his portrait of Peter Fonda (in his Wild Angels role). As you can see, the paintings are large scale (8′ – 10′ tall), and beautiful; Conrad had a 5-year contract as artist in residence for Louis Vuitton in Tokyo, and is now branching out, and selling his paintings at galleries and at exclusive shows. There is no other artist I know of working today who possesses such a refreshing orientation to motorcycle subject matter. His sensibility is unique, his painting skill exceptional, and his style will undoubtedly impact a generation of young artists tackling the relationship of men to machinery.

Artist Conrad Leach at the Legends of the Motorcycle Gallery in April 2008 [Paul d’Orléans]
The Norton painting with the pink(!) Union Jack looks like Jimmy Guthrie ca 1934… I coveted it, I wanted it, I considered it, I talked it over with my wife…but the $10k price tag, while very reasonable for a large-scale original painting, was simply too much at the moment. I understand Alain de Cadenet bought it instead; I hope it looks good in your living room, Alain.

‘Norton Jack’ (2008), with Jimmie Guthrie aboard a factory Norton racer circa 1934 [Conrad Leach]
If you like what you see, he sells giclee (ie, photographic) prints of these and other paintings, including James Bond (Connery, of course), and two Ferrari GTOs (the models for which happened to have been owned by Alain de C, so I guess it was his karma to buy ‘my’ painting). I think George Cohen will be selling prints of the Norton through his site ‘Norton Singles’. There is a rumor that George’s most recent creation, the flat-tank ‘Silverknob’ which he showed at Brooklands and Stafford, will be a future subject of Conrad’s paintbrush. Can’t wait to see that one. Below are scans which Conrad sent (much better than my lousy pocket camera snaps!).

‘Banner Racers’ (2008, an homage to American racing [Conrad Leach]
Conrad’s most-reproduced painting, ‘Lucky 13’ (2008) [Conrad Leach]

Paul d’Orléans is the founder of TheVintagent.com. He is an author, photographer, filmmaker, museum curator, event organizer, and public speaker. Check out his Author Page, Instagram, and Facebook.