The work of Cicero deGuzman Jr. documents everything chopper culture – riders, builders, their work, workspaces, and the adventures that follow. His photography captures not only the work that goes into building motorcycles, but also the spirit and energy of riding them. Shooting mostly in black and white, his photos have a compelling sense of honesty and truth, capturing the detail, hard work and dedication that goes into building the mechanics of a bike, and the authenticity of the people who do it.
All of these amazing documentary photographs come together in GODSPEED 45/06, a quarterly collection of photographs published by Cicero, featuring vintage chopper riders, builders and other bikes. Cicero also publishes The Glory Bound, a zine dedicated to ‘supporting the good times’, featuring various photographers and their experiences in documenting bike culture.
Cicero was kind enough to answer some questions for The Cult while in LA for his upcoming show: Godspeed & The Glory Bound, presented by LA/NYC photographer Alexis Gross at The Gallery next to the Burgundy Room. The show is Monday, February 4, and features photography from a variety of talented Glory Bound artists as well as Cicero himself. The fun goes from 8pm-2am, so if you’re in LA, you have no excuses not to stop by.
THE CULT: How did you become interested in photography?
Cicero: I’ve worked for years as an Art Director working with so many talented photographers. It was only a few years ago that I decided to pick up a camera myself to photograph bikes.
THE CULT: What draws you to motorcycles & chopper culture?
Cicero: It started out being about the machines themselves… They’re beautiful to me. The lines, the machinery, the textures, the work and provenance behind every part. I love all that. But as I started doing it, the experience of shooting became more important. The people I meet in different places, their stories, and the friendships I’ve made.
THE CULT: What kind of camera do you use?
Cicero: It’s a Canon 5D. But I shot alot of the old stuff on a crappier camera. I’m not really into equipment. I kind of put my head in the sand when it comes to the technical stuff.
THE CULT: Photographer, Author, Curator, Biker – you are a busy man of many titles. How do you stay inspired?
Cicero: Those are all overstated titles. I barely know what all the buttons do on my camera. If “curating” means asking people you admire to let you help show off their work, then ok. And, let’s scratch biker off the list because I haven’t had a running bike in almost a year now. Mostly I’m just a fan. I do all these things because I’m really inspired by the people involved.
THE CULT: You’re obviously known for your work documenting chopper culture. Do you ride as well? What bikes are you riding or working on now?
Cicero: I’ve got a 67 and a 76 HD. I promise something will be running by the summer!
THE CULT: How was the idea of The Glory Bound born?
Cicero: I was shooting the Godspeed series for myself and was asked by a few others how they could get involved. The Glory Bound was just an avenue for that. The photographers can share their take on chopper culture in an unedited way. I’m stoked on the the photographers currently involved. When you come see the show you’ll be too.
THE CULT: What excites you most about the upcoming Alexis Cross presents: Godspeed & The Glory Bound show?
Cicero: Really, just being in California, and getting to pop a few beers with old and new friends.
Don’t miss Godspeed & The Glory Bound, presented by Alexis Gross at The Gallery next to the Burgundy Room.
Monday, February 4, 2013 from 8pm-2am.
1621 N Cauhenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Purchase Godspeed 45/06 here
Purchase issues of The Glory Bound here