Client: Skidmark Garage
Location: Cleveland, OH, United States
Completion date: 2022
Artwork budget: $43,000
Moritz Wood and Metal
Skidmark garage, a DIY motorcycle repair in Cleveland, commissioned me to build a large indoor public art piece to adorn their new lounge area. They supply all the tools and environment for you to work on your bike.
The space I was asked to fill was a 20 foot by 15 foot wall. I decided to use old motorcycle parts that were destined for the landfill for this project. I first did a drawing of a head made of motorcycle parts, then I collected parts form the shop that “fit” my drawing.
The next step was to work with fabricator Mike Moritz on the building the armature that all the parts would be attached to.
He welded what he could and the rest we attached with wire. I painted the parts, leaving some original paint and others totally covered in paint. I wanted the viewer to see a head, but still know they were made form real motorcycle parts.
Moving the fifteen foot head and installing it to the wall was the job for Mike Moritz, a skilled installer.
Motorhead is now the center piece for the Skidmark garage and the owner Brian Schaffran could not be happier.
SkidMark Garage is all about you as a motorcyle rider knowing how to fix or “wrench” your own bike.
People in the garage help each other and there is a real sense of community in the building.
I wanted to make my public art piece not only fit the “vibe” of the garage, but become a point of conversation. “Hey look that's a 70s' Honda tank for a cheek. Wow, a Triumph foot peg is part of the ear.” It was very important to me to relate and please the members and owners of the Skimark garage first and foremost.
The owner of Skidmark garage Brian Schaffran first approached me about the project.
He had seen my work in other public art settings and believed I was the person for the job.
That said, he gave me free rein to create whatever I wanted. It could have been a flat painting, or a mixed media piece. We talked early on about me believing found objects from the Skidmark would be the best and most honest way to approach this opportunity.
Once I settled on using found objects and recycled materials, Brian was very helpful in giving me access to his bins and shelves of “tossed out” motorcycle parts.
My other extremely important partner in this project was fabricator Mike Moritz. He is a highly skilled professional who has worked with many materials over his career. He has been a fabricator on my Cleveland public art projects and I knew he was the person to help me bring this massive head to life.
We work closely from beginning to end and Mike was also instrumental in transporting and installing the 500 pound, 15 foot head.
It was very important to me to not just make a piece that I thought was “cool”. I looked at this project, like I do all my projects as, “what is this wall and this space all about? Who is working in the space? How can create a conversation between the art and viewer? How can I can I make a piece that is not only relatable to the humans in the space but betters the space and activates the room?” By all the positive feedback I have received, I believe I have hit my goals and MotorHead will have a long life at Skidmark Garage.