By Mike Morgan Special to Published Jul 11, 2015 at 9:16 AM

In the motorcycle and car world, saying that someone "has gas and oil in their veins" means those are folks are either gear heads, or at least have some gear head in their DNA. If anyone is actually capable of painting with gas and oil, Milwaukee artist Mathew "boo" Hintz is the guy to do it.

Hintz is building an impressive professional and artistic career combining his passion for painting, drawing, design and motorcycles at Harley-Davidson. A sharp focus on the "beauty of the bike" lets Hintz use his unique impressionistic style on motorcycles and the artistic nuances they have to offer.

Painting in thick layers gives Hintz’s work a sculpted three-dimensional look and feel. His paintings are then finished with seven layers of varnish giving them a gloss surface resembling the clear coat finish of a showroom Harley. It’s almost like Monet meets motorcycles as Hintz’s paintings blend rich deep colors to enhance the already vibrant Harley design.

Those who want to see Hintz’s motorcycle art up close can check out the Iron Horse Gallery Nights Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25, and at an artist bike night Thursday, July 30 with a special poster giveaway. In addition, his work is available through local dealers around the country.

Hintz has been a contract designer at Harley for 17 years, focusing on retouching company images, designing logos and more. I was fortunate to work with Hintz on numerous Harley new model launches at Harley where his expertise on Harley design and detail helped our team complete several award-winning projects.

Working closely with Harley design legends like Willie G. Davidson, Louis Netz and Ray Drea gives Hintz expertise and street cred, but also led to his unique nickname. One of Willie G’s many unique traits is giving friends and colleagues quirky nicknames. So, when Hintz was working on a Harley skull logo project years ago, Willie started calling him "boo" (skull equals scary, get it?) and the name stuck.

Over the last couple years, Hintz has broadened his expertise into more artistic areas like creating Harley event logos, posters, patches, magazine covers, licensed art and commissioned motorcycle portraits.

Hintz portrays some of the most intricate and intimate details of the motorcycle from flaming painted fuel tanks to bright chrome parts and accessories.

"I feel a connection to the bikes and their riders," Hintz said. "I appreciate the subtle differences in an impressionistic style combined with realism. There are very specific details that make each bike or model special."

For this summer’s Sturgis Rally 75th anniversary, Hintz has created a custom Harley logo for a fine art print available during the Rally. His design will also grace Harley-Davidson merchandise and other marketing materials. These anniversary and event designs were previously created by Willie G. himself, so Hintz is the heir apparent to fill Willie’s shoes – sorry, make that boots.

One of Hintz’s passionate projects includes partnering with MDA ambassador Reagan Imhoff to help create a special painting of a purple Softail Breakout motorcycle that helped raise $7,500 in two 2013 charity auctions. Limited edition signed prints are still available, and Hintz worked with Reagan on another painting in 2014.

Helping riders create personal commissioned portraits of their motorcycles, Hintz can create an exclusive painting to hang in a great room or a garage. Using bike photos, he uses his approachable style to get a feel for the rider’s favorite part of their bike and where the painting will be displayed. Hintz’s work and more background are available at

Hintz was born and raised in upper Michigan before moving to Waukesha in high school. His artistic skills led to a scholarship to the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD). While he didn’t have a motorcycle background before starting a Harley internship, he quickly got the gas and oil culture learning to ride and buying a bike. Things took off from there. Hintz now lives in West Allis raising four children while pursuing his dreams when it comes to motorcycle art.

Hintz now rides a 2004 Harley CVO Softail Deuce, which is a bike for which he designed the tank logo. It doesn’t get much more real than that.

Wisconsin Harley-Davidson events: The month of July is always a peak time for motorcycle events, and Wisconsin Harley-Davidson in Oconomwoc is busy with the following festivities:

  • Thursday, July 23: Ride to the Museum
  • Saturday, July 25: Summer Saturday Barbeque and Bash for Byron Reisch Paralysis Foundation
  • Sunday, July 26: Green & Gold tailgate party. 
Mike Morgan Special to

Mike Morgan rides retro, whether on his 1976 Harley Aermacchi 250 or Heritage Softail. Mike has been a motorcyclist since 2001 having ridden in Sturgis, Daytona Beach, the California coast, New England and everywhere in between, including in the last three Milwaukee Harley Anniversary parades.

Mike worked in communications and marketing at Harley-Davidson for more than 12 years, writing and editing all kinds of content, including award-winning media kids in 2009 and 2012. He had ridden the Harley several times before Brewer games at Miller Park, and ran in one of the last sausage races at the old County Stadium when he was Communications Manager for the Stadium District Board.