This Thursday, PROJECT Gallery will welcome acclaimed celebrity photographer Timothy White and the Los Angeles premiere of his retrospective of legendary motorcycle builder and cultural icon, Indian Larry.
Timothy answered a few questions about Indian Larry and the exhibit:
How did you meet Indian Larry?
I met Larry through the bike scene in NYC. We know a lot of the same people and rode the same sort of bikes.
How did he get the nickname Indian Larry?
I believe he got the name "Indian Larry" because of an early Indian motorcycle that he once had. Way before my time. Check his wife Bambi's book for the correct answer. He kinda looked like the face on an old indian head nickel though.
Larry's life had many twists and turns including homelessness and addiction, but at the time of his death in 2004 it seems he was in a great place. Is that the case?
Yes, when Larry died he was at the height of his popularity with fans, he was making money, sober, and spiritual, I have always believed that he had reached some sort of enlightenment and had come to a turnaround as a human being. Maybe his work here was done.
What do you think he was most proud of?
I think Larry was most proud of how he turned things around in his life. We all have our demons, but I think he was pleased with his work, his art, his marriage, his popularity...he seemed very content at the end.
Will we see some of these moments in the exhibit at Project Gallery?
I think you see some of Larry's joy and some of his burden in the portraits of him. You definitely see his work at it's highest level.
This will be the LA premiere of this exhibit, where else has it been shown?
This is the first time this work has been shown in LA. There have been previous exhibits in NYC, Sturgis, and Austin.
Can you tell us a bit about your Indian Larry bike that will be at the August 15 opening?
The bike on display was built for me by Larry and his creative partner Paul Cox. In many ways, it was a prototype for other designs to follow. For instance, my bike was the first frame with the single twisted downtube which has since become a signature piece. I was a close friend and riding partner so we all worked very closely on giving me something that was ergonomically correct for me and suited my hot rod sensibilities. There were certain sizes and options that I wanted, but I otherwise gave them complete creative control. I thought it was going to be a bit more funky, but Larry used a lot of different combinations of metals, highly polished, and used no paint on the bike...it's 24 carot gold leaf, with platinum leaf flames. He called it "Tim's Rolex". It was built in 2001, I ride it regularly, and it's virtually flawless.
You have shot nearly every celebrity, hundreds of movie posters and even a few 'Got Milk' Campaigns. What's next? What are you currently working on?
I continue to work on movie, TV, and product advertising photography. I am part owner in The Morrison Hotel Gallery here in LA, have 2 TV shows now in production, am currently working on a motorcycle inspired clothing line... and who knows what's next!
Catch Timothy White's Indian Larry Exhibit at Project Gallery starting this Thursday until September 8th.
1553 North Cahuenga Blvd.