Band of Bikers 1962/1972
By Scott Zieher
(powerHouse Books, Hardcover, 9781576875223, 108pp.)
Publication Date: January 26, 2010
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In the basement of an apartment building in Manhattan, Scott Zieher discovered a pile of photographs among the effects of a recently deceased tenant. These photographs, presented for the first time in Band of Bikers, offer an intimate portrait of a group of gay bikers in the city and the woods, and a touching snapshot of an entire generation at its carefree zenith.
Newly aware of muscle and biker magazines and their heavy-handed eroticism, photographer and photographed brim with a subtly vibrant, chromatic pride. The photographs as a whole bring into focus a brief, specific period of relative innocence, when middle-of-the-road Americans more often than not failed to perceive the homoerotic undertones of their most heterosexual of institutions. With conceptual light cast by issues ranging from anonymity in homosexuality and underground motorcycle chic, to vernacular photography’s pop-culture ramifications, a warm and generous spirit of camaraderie pervades this subterranean survey. Like a real-world set for Scorpio Rising casually captured by an unpretentious extra, presented as Band of Bikers and accompanied by an essay by Zieher, this found cache of old-school, leather party snapshots attains archeological significance.
Scott Zieher is a poet, art dealer, and avid collector. He has scavenged and collected books, photographs, art, paper, archives, and ephemera since childhood. His recent poetry has appeared in Tin House, LAB MAG, The Sienese Shredder, and KNOCK. His first book, VIRGA, the first of a projected 13 sequential, book-length poems, was praised by Milton Welch in The Believer as “doubly striking—both a compelling long poem and an exciting first volume of poetry…we will likely witness Zieher develop into a formidable poet.” He lives and works in New York City where he is president and founding member of Emergency Press, and co-owner of the contemporary art gallery ZieherSmith with his wife, Andrea Smith.