Heavy Heads is a prime example of the grass roots events we enjoy getting involved with. This type of event brings the worlds of art, motorcycles and like minded folks together to embrace our culture. Most of us, thanks to state helmet laws, are required to wear a helmet. Instead of looking like every Billy Bob out there, we can express ourselves or interests through an artist’s pin striping brush or air gun. They listen to our wants and can deliver a motorcycle helmet like no other. Add the fact that their canvas is a Biltwell lid, and life is good. I was fortunate to have ChopCult contributor Dan Venditto on location to do a small interview with the event coordinator Zach Kolodziejski of Pure Sludge. Enjoy.
Interview and Photos by Daniel Venditto
What is Pure Sludge, who's involved, and where did it all start? Pure Sludge is pretty much whatever, wherever. If you're fucking around with it, there's always some sort of sludge somewhere. But ultimately, it's just a tight group of friends who try to outdo each other. Next time you are covered in unknown filth, just think PURE SLUDGE. I don't really know where it started, but it sure is fun to say.
How did you guys come up with the idea of a helmet art show? We randomly ended up at a Christmas party at our preferred burrito joint, and one swig of Old Grand Dad led to another, which then led us outside to roll the J that sparked Heavy Heads. The idea had a different feel than the fleeting ideas that usually follow a night of boozing. The next day we got our shit straight, came up with a solid plan, and it was game on. The idea of a helmet show isn't anything new, so we knew we had to make it fucking awesome.
Considering this was the first event, the presentation of it all, from the printed material, social media postings and the show itself all looked to be professionally produced. Who came up with the art, printing, etc.? Between the two of us, we could pool our talents and do a huge chunk of the visuals, show setup, printing etc. ourselves. I handled the design and production through Graphic Discharge and Christian Herr handled the illustrations and other artwork. Tallboy and Sam Turner also did some illustrations along the way. We sure as hell couldn't have done it without the help of a long list of friends who offered to help us out at just the right moments.
How did you decide on the venue?
Here is some insight into our venue criteria:
1.) Ample space for the artwork to be displayed
2.) Just far enough out to get rowdy
3.) Out of view from the fuzz
4.) Area to park plenty of bikes
5.) Being able to drink where you please
What was the event like? The show opened early in the afternoon and featured 30 custom designed helmets displayed gallery style. We also had a few great bikes in the mix, and provided some locally brewed beers to keep things loose. The weather was perfect, so most people rode out. Later that night, we raffled off all the prizes provided by our event sponsors and wrapped things up listening to some bands at the bar across the street. A special thanks to all of our sponsors; Biltwell, Industrial Resolution, Chop Cult, Lowside Magazine, Lowbrow Customs, Graphic Discharge, Triple Six Crew Death Co., Zombie Performance, The Cycle Den, Golden Ages Tattoo, Squares Beware, Temple Leather Co., CVRST and Pure Sludge.
How were the artists chosen? Heavy Heads was an invite only show. We wanted the heaviest list of artists who ride, work on, or have ties to motorcycling. They were all artists we were familiar with. Some were local, some were international. Diversity in style had a lot to do with who we selected. We got a lot of submissions from other amazing artists after we had our official roster locked down, so we will be opening up the next show to some juried submissions.
What type of artists were in on it? Some illustrators, pin-stripers, printmakers, graphic designers, tattoo artists, hot rod painters. We tried to cover the whole spectrum.
Is this a once and done event, or do you plan on having it every year? The response was so good, that we couldn't say no to a second show. Everyone had a blast and the quality of work was killer, so it'd be a disservice to everyone if we didn't host another.
Are the helmets available for purchase? Some of the helmets were sold at the event. The remainder are up for sale at the Heavy Heads gallery / store: www.heavyheadsshow.bigcartel.com.
Follow the guys on Instagram: @puresludge @christian_herr @sultan_of_sludge and Facebook.
HEAVY HEADS 2 IS COMING! They are opening up the next show to 15 juried submissions, along with 15 invited artists. If you want a chance to do a lid for Heavy Heads 2015 send a sample of your work to firstname.lastname@example.org
1081 N. Plum St. Lancaster, PA 17601