The new ICON 1000 Slingbag

Elizabeth Raab

Elizabeth Raab photography
You don’t often see motorcycles featured in fine art photography; Bill Phelps is the only name we’ve come across in the past. But now there’s a new one to watch: Elizabeth Raab, a photographic artist specializing in automotive and creative portraiture. Like Phelps, Raab is based in Brooklyn, but her career kickstarted when she moved to Italy for two years in 1999. Her work has now been picked up by exhibitions—most notably at the Seattle Art Museum—and in the published works of David Lynch. Why motorcycles, and Ducatis at that, we wondered? “I’ve always been attracted to Italian style and design,” she says. “In selecting bikes I choose anywhere between highly modified and customized to very stock—depending on what interests me at the time. When shooting a bike with a model, I try to match it with someone that fits the character of that bike, in shape and attitude. In this particular shot, Ally is a professional bodybuilder, something I think really fits nicely with the muscle behind the D16.” Most of the bikes from Raab’s “Desmo” show are privately owned: the Desmosedici shown above (and several others in the series) is owned by the manager of Portland’s Ducati dealer, Motocorsa. “I’m exploring the many relationships between the designed and the natural,” says Raab. “The unique color palette of the motorcycle extends from the framework to her hair, eyes reflecting the power of the engine hidden underneath the smooth exterior. She is, in a sense, an extension of the bike herself.” Head over to Elizabeth’s website to see (and purchase) her work.