Steed Taylor is not your average tattoo artist. His list of clientele
sets him apart, without touting names like Rihanna or Beckham. This
artist caters to a special set of customers, inking up what he calls
'the skin of the public,' aka city streets. His latest road tattoo can
be found at the Navy Pier in Chicago, as a part of the BIGart
Tattoos are commemorative and ritualistic in nature, meant to mark the
skin with permanent expressions of tribute. Taylor's works accomplish
this aim in the most public of settings.
Creating a road tattoo is far more than just filling in stencils; in
fact it is an extremely intimate process. Once the tattoo is outlined
on the pavement, Taylor fills its skeleton with a specific set of names
whilst praying over them. After this ritual the names are covered over
to complete the tattoo and solidify the sacred design. Each location
pays homage to a different set of selected people; Chicago's 'Galloon'
for example honors the out gay and lesbian members of the armed service.
'Galloon' will remain on display in Chicago from now until October 2012.