PhotoSummer: Artist's Statement

Cate Dingley

Ezy Ryders

On a bright summer day when the New York concrete sweats transparent shimmers of heat, a rumble like thunder approaches. They roll in wearing deep black leather cuts and throwing blinding reflections off the shiny metal of the motorcycles when they turn and catch the sun. Someone lights up the barbecue and cues the hip hop blaring from the stacked speakers in the street, and the bikers descend to the party in style.

The motorcycle rider adopts a demanding, uncompromising masculinity or femininity, which they put on public display. Like the cut-up leather on their backs, this aggressive identity is worn to fend off outsiders. The intersecting politics of race, gender and enclosed subculture can make connection difficult. Tenderness is mistaken for weakness. But between vices and victories, the bikers discover in their motorcycle clubs a singular acceptance they don't find anywhere else.

Ezy Ryders is the story of New York City's black bikers.