Road tattoos are a result of my investigation into the intersection of memorials, ritual and public art coupled with the idea of repurposing a very common public space for art. Road tattoos are commemorative, site-specific, community-based public artworks. Placed at locations of community significance, road tattoos are composed of cultural designs previously appropriated to mark skin. Names, or other information, are painted within the design, a nondenominational prayer commissioned for the piece is said and the design is painted in, covering over this information. Subtle, close in color to the roadway, road tattoos are made with high-gloss latex causing them to appear and disappear with passing light. Eventually traffic and weather conditions dissolve them into the road.
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 and Il Ponte Contemporanea in Rome, Italy. Recent commissions for his public artwork include the cities of Washington, DC, Arlington, VA and New Orleans, LA, the North Carolina Museum of Art, Duke University, Riverside Park in New York City, Florida State University and Columbus College of Art & Design.