Jeff Decker

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Not to be confused with Jaff Decker.
Jeff Decker
Jeff-decker-riding-shot.jpg
Jeff Decker
Born (1966-06-14) June 14, 1966 (age 49)
Torrance, California
Nationality American
Alma mater Brigham Young University
Occupation Sculptor
Known for Bronze sculptures, The Hill Climber
Religion Mormon
Spouse(s) Kelly Lei Decker
Website
JeffDeckerStudio.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.