Jeff Decker

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Jeff Decker
Jeff-decker-riding-shot.jpg
Jeff Decker
Born (1966-06-14) June 14, 1966 (age 52)
NationalityAmerican
Alma materBrigham Young University
OccupationSculptor
Known forBronze sculptures, The Hill Climber
Spouse(s)Kelly Lei Decker
WebsiteJeffDeckerStudio.com

Jeff Decker is a sculptor and historian who is known for his bronze sculptures, the most notable of which is titled "By the Horns" (also known as The Hill Climber), a 16-foot-tall, 5,000-pound bronze located on the grounds of the Harley-Davidson Museum.[1] His bronze-cast sculptures depicting the synergy of man and modern machines, particularly historic motorcycles, is known in both the motorcycling community and the world of fine art.[2] As of 2009, Decker was Harley-Davidson's official sculptor.[3]

Professional background[edit]

Decker is the son of Allen and Lana Decker. Steeped in the southern California car culture of the 1960s, Decker learned the ways of his father.[4] An intense collector, Decker's father owned one of the area's largest flathead speed equipment collections.[citation needed]

Working full-time at a bronze casting foundry, Decker's first idea was to capture Man's quest for speed in all vehicles. His first sculpture was a 1924 Miller Indy car. Next came the Baby Bootlegger, a 1922 world record-holding speedboat.[5]

On display at Bob Dron Harley-Davidson located in Oakland, California, Decker created a life-size bronze statue from a famous photograph of Joe Petrali showing him astride a Harley Streamliner, taken during Petrali's historic 136 mile per hour record setting run at Daytona on March 13, 1937.[6] and is the only bronze sculpture artist licensed by Harley-Davidson to replicate their products. Decker also created a five-foot-tall, about 1,000 pound bronze of Elvis with a Harley-Davidson motorcycle he owned, a 1956 KHK model.[3]

Bronze Sculptures[edit]

Name Year Size Weight
The 1924 Miller 91 Indy Car 1994 26″ × 12″ × 12″ 60 pounds
The Baby Bootlegger 1995 42″ × 12″ × 8″ 60 pounds
The Flying Merkel 1997 22″ × 13″ × 8″ 55 pounds
Jim Davis Trophy Bust 1998 18″ × 6″ × 6″ 20 pounds
The 1915 Cyclone 1998 22″ × 13″ × 8″ 55 pounds
Flat Out at Bonneville 1999 42″ × 12″ × 32″ 300 pounds
Tilt & Turns 1999 24" x 24" x 12" 75 pounds
The 1916 Big Valve Excelsior 2000 22″ × 13″ × 8″ 55 pounds
The 1912 Indian Big Base 8 valve racer 2000 22″ × 13″ × 8″ 55 pounds
The 1916 8 Valve Harley-Davidson works racer 2000 22″ × 13″ × 8″ 55 pounds
Neck and neck with Death 2000 7’ x 2’ x 2’ 300 pounds
The Bullet 1/2 scale 2001 44″ × 28″ × 28″ 300 pounds
The Bullet 1/4 scale 2002 22″ × 14″ × 14″ 50 pounds
Slant Artist 2003 18″ × 14″ × 28″ 20 pounds
Petrali 2003 7′ × 2′ × 4′ 800 pounds
Petrali/Marquette-size 2004 18″ × 8″ × 10″ 25 pounds
Harley-Davidson’s 1000+4 2004 18″ × 8″ × 12″ 20 pounds
Ruby 2005 18″ × 8″ × 12″ 25 pounds
Daytona 2006 28″ × 22″ × 13″ 60 pounds
West Was Won 2007 36″ × 20″ × 18″ 110 pounds
The King and his Ride 2007 18″ × 8″ × 12″ 30 pounds
By the Horns (The Hill Climber) 2008 9′ × 5′ × 18′ 5 tons

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schmid, John. "Capturing the Harley Spirit". Capturing the Harley Spirit. Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  2. ^ Morgan, Felicia. "Rider's Spotlight: Jeff Decker". Canonball Endurance Run. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  3. ^ a b Migliore, Greg (February 26, 2009). "Elvis immortalized on bronze Harley". Autoweek.
  4. ^ "Interview: Jeff Decker". Bike Exif. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  5. ^ "Jeff Decker: Artist, Historian, Motorhead". Ed Youngblood's Motohistory. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  6. ^ Davis, Miles (January 2007). "Joe Petrali: Hometown Hero". Walneck's Classic Cycle Trader. Woodridge, IL: Dominion Enterprises: 127. ISSN 1051-8088. OCLC 22125719.