Monday, November 26, 2012


'Jimmie Guthrie' on a mid-30s Norton racer, in a situation I'm sure he would approve!
Galerie Jean-Marc Thévenet in Paris is currently (thru Dec.5, 2012) exhibiting the work of legendary motoring artist Denis Sire, champion of inserting fantastical pinup girls into historical situations.  Sire was born in 1953 at Saint Nazaire on the Atlantic coast of France, and studied art in Paris at ‘L’Ecole des Arts Appliqués.  His work is most familiar to 1980s readers of Playboy and Heavy Metal magazines, and I've had a copy of his Velocette Thruxton sketch on the wall of my office for decades, admiring his outrageous mix of scantily clad femininity with hot rods, record breakers, fighter planes, and motorcycles.  Meeting Sire in person last February at Rétromobile in Paris, I discovered he also possesses a unique sense of style, befitting his outré artistic ouevre.
Joe Petrali's Harley Davidson Knucklehead record-breaker...
Roughly translated from the Thévenet Gallery website: 'Denis Sire has since 1980 drawn an idealized geography, whose contours include the Isle of Man, Brooklands, Indianapolis, Goodwood, Berlin, LeMans ...  The exhibition presents works by Denis Sire covering the period to 1910s to the 1950s, each drawing creating legends where the artist, genius that he is, plays with context, where each element belongs, as long as Sire is wielding the pencil.  A number of drawings are available on vintage paper with texts that are reinterpretations of those moments where art and machines meet historical truth.'
'Red Horse'
'LeMans, 1951'
Sire as captured at Rétromobile, 2012. Always a unique sartorialist!
Dennis sire with a flat-track Harley CR250... which was of course built by Aermacchi.  That's an Aermacchi jet, on the shores of Lake Varese  (photo from internet)

All artwork images courtesy and copyright Galerie Jean Marc Thévenet


Team Benzina - making the finest motorcycle magazine on earth? said...

That bottom pic is the old Aermacchi (hence the Aermacchi jet) factory at Varese (you can see the lake beyond the trees) - it became the Harley factory, then Cagiva, and now is where the MVs are built; the jet is still there

The Vintagent said...

Ah, thanks for the clarification; when HD bought Aermacchi, their rebadged HD/Aermacchis were very popular here, and the CR250 was a potent flat track tool. Dig the jet!