Road Tattoo Artist Statement
Road tattoos explore the expression of loss and longing within public space. Commemorative, site-specific, community-based, tattoo-inspired, public artworks on roads, they repurpose a common, yet much loved and romanticized public space with additional meaning and significance.
If roads are the skin of a community, they have a similar relationship to the public body as skin does to the private body. As people mark their skin as a means of commemoration, communication and ritual, then a road can be marked for the same reasons. Road tattoos are based on cultural designs previously appropriated to mark skin and are sited in relation to their specific meanings.
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. Often subtle, close in color to the asphalt, road tattoos are usually high-gloss causing them to appear and disappear with passing light. After a few years, traffic and weather conditions eventually dissolve them into the road.