Art & Wheels – Basel, Switzerland 2016
Artists of the Custom Motorcycle
A perfect mix when the weather is as great as that splendid May weekend at the north-west corner of Switzerland: About 100+ "Old School" themed motorcycles lingered outside the Gallery event hall, which is situated almost invisible in a suburb of Basel. But that morning, you only had to follow any particular Harley-Davidson – and it would bring you to Gallery Projektraum M54 on the right side of the Rhine river flowing through Basel. Fortunately, a church and a former school gave room to park the bikes of numerous visitors that came by motorcycle that day. Car-parking was next to impossible.
Text & Photos Art & Wheels Switzerland by Horst Rösler
The one-day show is framed by a party the first day (after-show party grated too!) and a ride-out of the bikes exhibited (!), friends and "Old School" enthusiast on Sunday. This time as far as visiting the CCCP workshop in Malters close to Luzern! For the benefit of those who visited the party on Friday, the show does not open before noon – but is going on ‘tíll 10 pm. By then the whole block must have recognized that something interesting is going on in Mörsbergerstrasse 54!
This year, for the first time and thanks to a) the support of sponsors and b) the overwhelming success of the first event, bikes were shipped even from the USA to present them at this small but intense event that is meant to grow in future years. Nobody can be sure if this location won't be too small already in 2017? Paul Cox, (Paul Cox Industries, USA), Chris Richardson (L.A. Speed Shop, USA), Uwe Ehinger (Ehinger Kraftrad, Germany), and Andy Niemi (Flying Choppers, Finland), were the most prominent names with superb customs present. Swiss builders like Mc Sands (Mc Sands Motor Shop, Switzerland) displayed show winning bikes from international events. From the Collection of Luigi Collani Desings, the famous "Collani Münch" of 1972 (!!), a project to aid the struggling technician from Hessen with his too-early Superbike was the secret "star" of the event! The afternoon saw the "Exhibitors Pick" when some of the exhibitors choose their favourite bikes from the parked motorcycles outside, not unlike Willie's Tropical Tattoo Show and Mecrin's "Old School Swap Meet & Bike Show", held for the 19th edition the Sunday before!
The history of the event itself is short: When Vinz, Mario and Lukas first got together to talk about Art and Wheels Basel, they had no idea what would happen on that one day in May 2015 in Basel. They put in all their energy and ideas to organize what was to become the first ever edition of Art and Wheels Basel. Bringing together different subcultures like motorcycles, skateboarding, Punk Rock, Hot Rodding, BMX, art, and a million other things was the initial goal of the exhibition.
The 2016 edition got even better – and planning of 2017 is already underway! Art & Custombikes work together in perfect harmony! Check it out at "Art and Wheels" at Basel 2017!
Text & Photos: Horst Rösler
What happens when a motorcycle mechanic, a leather craftsman and a student sit down totally hammered at an event with the dream to organize a motorcycle and art show?
When Vinz, Mario and Lukas first got together to talk about Art and Wheels Basel, they had no idea what would happen on that one day in May 2015 in Basel. They put in all their energy and ideas to organize what was to become the first ever edition of Art and Wheels Basel. Bringing together different subcultures like motorcycles, skateboarding, Punk Rock, Hot Rodding, BMX, art, and a million other things was the initial goal of the exhibition that was the first ever of its kind in Switzerland. Going away from traditional biker imaginery the show wasn’t just about beards, skulls, beer bellys and leather jackets. It was and still is about the art and craftmanship it takes to build a motorcycle and handle it on the wide open road.
With over 1’600 spectators, bikes parked all over the place outside of the venue in „Kleinbasel“ the pulsating area of their home town and about 100 motorcycles on the ride-out on Sunday, the first edition of Art and Wheels Basel was a success we never dreamed about.
To top it off for 2016, we’re not just bringing VIP guests from all around the globe to Switzerland, we’re also trying to get some bikes from the USA shipped here. We want to present you some of the biggest names of the international custom bike scene as well as the young and wild talented newcomers. A lot of these people have become close friends of ours during the last years and we want you to meet them and get to know them and spend the weekend not just looking at their stuff but spending it WITH them, as equals. We all party together Friday night at the imfamous DicE party, talk about bikes and art on Saturday’s show and go ride motorcycles together on Sunday. There will be no restricted VIP areas at Art and Wheels Basel, we’re all equals sharing the same love for motorcycles and are all here to have a good time together and enjoy all the beauty and madness some folks started decades ago.
We’re not just talking about this vibe, you could really feel it at the first edition of Art and Wheels Basel. Just ask our invited guests, spectators and our sponsors from the last show. Everything worked like a Swiss watch and our guests were happy attending what they called „one of the best organized shows ever“. People would really feel that this event is not about profit since admission is free and there are no vendors selling the same stuff you can get at every other event.
And well, it’s no secret that some show from overseas was a big role model for Art and Wheels Basel. We just love the vibe they created over there and it was a big goal of ours to bring this ambiance to europe.
On the following pages we want to present you what we have achieved in 2015 and what we want to accomplish in 2016. To simply put it in one sentence, we want to bring together people from all around the world, different backgrounds, different approaches and visions to have one great weekend of sharing stories, learning from each other and talking about current and future projects and most importantly RIDE.
Max Schaaf, 4Q Custom Conditioning, USA
Josh Kurpius, USA
Paul Cox, Paul Cox Industries, USA
Chris Richardson, L.A. Speed Shop, USA
Uwe Ehinger, Ehinger Kraftrad, Germany
Andy Niemi, Flying Choppers, Finland
Mc Sands Motor Shop, Switzerland
Markus Roch, Stuff from Hell, Germany
Nobbi Wolf-Sekine, W&W AG, Germany
CCCP Motorcycles, Switzerland
Rob, Eat Dust Clothing, Belgium
Christian Voss, Germany
VTR Customs, Switzerland
Raphael Schaub, Schaub Metalworks, Switzerland
Marc Baier, Switzerland
Vinzenz Guntern, Switzerland
Franz J. Venzin, solidpleasure.com, Switzerland
Josie Perez, USA
Mitch Cotie, USA
Christopher C. Galley, Devil Chicken Design, USA
Eddie Hara, Indonesia
El Balenko, Poland
Ettore “Blaster” Callegaro, Italy
Schwarz Iron’art, Switzerland
As we did at the 2015 show, we’re again giving away two of our BADASS AWARDS.
It’s not about having the most expensive and perfect custombike, it’s about riding a bike to the show that you built yourself, in your own garage with your own two hands.
We think custombikes are made for riding and we wanna pay tribute to this by giving away two awards including goodies from our sponsors and other stuff to people, that share the same passion for riding and customizing as we do.
There will be awards from Marcos Free Kustom Cycles Spain and The Factory Metal Works along with badass handmade helmets from Joe King Speed Shop and goodie packages from Lowbrow Customs and handmade knifes from Old Bike Barn.
(in alphabetical order)
Ace Cafe Luzern
BMW Motorrad & VTR Customs
Easyriders Magazine Europe
Eat Dust Clothing
Elektrizitäts AG Basel
Factory Metal Works
Free Kustom Cycles Barcelona
Hot Bike Magazine
Joe King Speed Shop
Kustom Life Magazine
Moto Senn, Harley Davidson Aargau
Nomad Hotel, Basel
Old Bike Barn
Richard’s Motorcycles, Harley Davidson Basel
The Rokker Company
Ryder’s Store, Lörrach
For general inquiries write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org