If roads are considered the skin of a community, then a road is to the public body what skin is to the private body. If people mark their skin as a means of commemoration, communication or ritual; then a road can be marked for the same reasons. I am interested in the intersection of memorials, ritual and public art. I have been investigating how personal emotional significance can be placed on a public space and how this emotional resonance can be manifested in public artwork. Road Tattoos are a result of this investigation.
Placed at locations of individual or community significance, Road Tattoos are composed of cultural designs previously appropriated to mark skin. Once the design is drawn on the road, names or other specific information is painted within the design, a prayer is said and the design is painted in, covering over this information. They are subtle, usually close in color to the roadway, but made with high-gloss latex causing them to appear and disappear with passing light. Eventually traffic and weather conditions dissolve them into the road.
Artist Bio / CV
Born in North Carolina and educated at the University of North Carolina, American University and the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture, Steed Taylor's art practice includes public art projects as well as work for gallery settings. His art has been shown around the country including the Bronx Museum, the Mint Museum, the San Bernardino County Museum, and the Neuberger Museum of Art's 2001 Biennial Exhibition of Public Art. Besides extensive showings in the New York metropolitan area, his solo shows include The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Ambrosino Gallery in Miami, Florida and Il Ponte Contemporanea in Rome, Italy. Recent commissions for his public work include Duke University, Riverside Park in New York City, Florida State University, Columbus College of Art & Design and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Recent lectures include the University of North Carolina in Charlotte and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. His art has been discussed in publications as varied as Art In America to Vibe Magazine.