The Nitty-Gritty | Band of Bikers by Scott Zieher

Who: “Scott Zieher, born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, poet and co-owner of ZieherSmith, a contemporary art gallery in New York City (since 2003), published two books with Emergency Press, VIRGA (2005) and IMPATIENCE (2009).”
What: “In February, powerHouse Books released BAND OF BIKERS, a collection of found photographs from 1972 of a group of gay bikers that met in the woods. There are three parties documented: LEIF ERICSON, BASS RIVER and MARATHON and about 120 photographs in all. I found them in my apartment building’s garbage in the Village in the late 90’s. The owner had passed away and his photographs were in a file box with his stamp collection. The superintendent offered it up as I walked off the elevator, doing laundry. The owner lived on my floor, but it was a big building and I never found out if he’s represented in the photographs.”
Where: “We mounted an exhibition of the photographs to coincide with the launch of the book at my gallery (ZieherSmith) at 516 West 20 Street and will continue to show them at art fairs in the future. I’m also considering exhibitions in Chicago and Los Angeles, but nothing confirmed yet. I’d also like to eventually donate a few of the photographs to select institutions where they might be best preserved and appreciated.”
When: “Hopefully the book will be available forever. The photographs are in my office and available for viewing any time.”
Why: “The photographs are amazing and document a really rarified moment in our history. They combine to make a very thorough document of a fascinating sub-culture. There’s also just a gorgeous patina of time that the Kodachromes hold after nearly 40 years. Almost everybody who saw the show was blown away. A lot of young artists have been really intrigued by the project, which is about as much as a person could ask for with a project like this one.”
How: “By the good graces of Oliver Kamm, who introduced me to powerHouse Books. We just happened to have an open slot in our gallery’s schedule when we learned that February was the launch. It wasn’t so much about sales as making the work available to as many people as possible. The book will hopefully accomplish that over the long haul.”

Photos from Band of Bikers by Scott Zieher, published by powerHouse Books.

powerHouse Books