Caution: Artwork Ahead

November 30, 2006
New York-based artist Steed Taylor created Indigenous

Jon Gardiner

The Nasher Museum of Art has received its first tattoo. In September, New York-based artist Steed Taylor created Indigenous, a painting on pavement that Taylor calls a "road tattoo," on the drive leading to the museum's front entrance.

Taylor says the artwork is based on the idea that "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."

Inspired by the verdant setting of the Nasher and his own North Carolina roots, Taylor designed the organic pattern of Indigenous as a tribute to native North Carolina plant species such as the tomato, tobacco, and squash. Several volunteers helped with the project, which was sponsored by Duke University Union's visual-arts committee.