Danny Lyon’s iconic book The Bikeriders is one of the most significant photo-documentary works of Postwar America. Lyon, while still finishing college, began riding with and photographing motorcyclists in Chicago at races and “scrambles.” Soon, he had joined the Chicago Outlaws motorcycle club and was immersed in their culture, traveling the Midwest by bike for two years.
The Bikeriders, published in 1968—the year before the release of the film Easy Rider, and just after Hunter S. Thompson’s Hell’s Angels—captured the end of the “golden age” of the outlaw bikers. His gripping, and often candid shots of bikerider life provide an insider’s perspective into a unique American counterculture. Lyon’s style of intensive reportage, what we might call “embedded” today, was unconventional in its time, and part of the emerging “New Journalism” of the 1960s and 70s. This exhibition presents highlights from the Bikeriders portfolio that have been generously gifted by Sally Strauss and Andrew Tomback.
Danny Lyon, American, born 1942, Memorial Day Run, Milwaukee, 1966, Silver gelatin print, Gift of Sally Strauss and Andrew Tomback, 2012, SN11346.27. Photo courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery and Magnum Photos.