OK, as I started to create this post regarding artwork by David Uhl, things got interesting. It turns out that his “Steampunk Seduction” series has some stories behind each work. Particularly the third of the series “Saboteur” and “The Huntress”, the second in the series.
What intrigued me about the “Saboteur” was the train wreck behind the rider along with the Brough Superior motorcycle. On October 22, 1895 a train, the Granville–Paris Express overran a stop at the Gare Montparnasse rail station in France. It tore through the concourse and ended up in the street below the station. Only 1 person was killed (she was in a newspaper stand and was killed by falling masonry). The conductor was fined 25 francs and the engineer 50. The movie (as shown in the YouTube Video) “Hugo” (directed by Martin Scorcese) included this train wreck in its story line. It won numerous awards including 5 Oscars. I have enjoyed this movie several times and thought it interesting that Uhl included it in the work.
Below is the first in the series. It bears the original series name “Steampunk Seduction”.
This is REALLY different and features a beautiful shovelhead created by Copper Mike (Gravesend Cycles) and the lovely Miss Jennie Villano – transported back into Victorian England.
On the heels of the wildly popular “Steampunk Seduction”, we are pleased to present the second in the Steampunk series, titled “The Huntress”. In David’s words, “If you do a net search it seems Vampire hunting and Steampunk are natural bedfellows. So the theme of this year’s piece has a horse drawn hearse coming across the bridge right before dawn, the perfect time to employ the wooden stake pistol (my favorite part) . The hiding vampire would be just retiring into his coffin only to be greeted by our gorgeous slayer. She is equipped with two bottles of Holy Water on her arm band, with shields of crucifixes for visual protection.”
Actress Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, among several other accomplishments) served as David’s model for this masterpiece.
In David’s words, “I wanted to note that this is the most complex piece of work I have ever done. As you know the Steampunk series is edgy and pushes the limits of what motorcycle art is all about. This wild piece interested me because of the heated rivalry between the French and English during the Victorian era, which is what Steampunk is all about. Our lady rides the pinnacle of British engineering, the early Brough Superior, and is poised to assess the damage to the marvelous Montparnasse Train Station in Paris. I shall let the viewer’s imagination put together the rest of the drama.”
This video link provides insight into the crash.
Accomplished motorcycle racer, Melissa Paris served as David’s model for this masterpiece. Melissa began riding motorcycles at age 20, much later than most of the people she races against. About a year later she began racing. In 2008 she won her first national championship in the Lightweight GP class aboard a 250 gran prix machine. In 2009 Melissa competed in her very first pro race in the famous Daytona 200. That same year she became the first woman to qualify for a World Supersport event. Since then she has gone on to race in the AMA in Supersport, the FIM/CEV Supertock, as well as in one off events in British Supersport and the Suzuka 4 Hours. More information about Melissa: http://melissaparis.com.
Images Courtesy of www.uhlstudios.com