Steed Tattoo

Naples Terrace Steps: Broadway and 232nd Street, Bronx

On view October 3, 2012 – August 3, 2013

Opening ceremony and reception - October 3rd at 11am

Directions by subway: 1 train to 231st stop, walk 1/2 block north towards 232nd Street to Naples Terrace Steps on left

Visual AIDS is proud to co-sponsor The Bridge & The Devil, a site-specific public artwork by artist member Steed Taylor in partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program.The Bridge & The Devil consists of two alternating, tattoo-inspired designs painted on the public staircase of the Naples Terrace Steps in the Kingsbridge neighborhood of the Bronx. With one design on the step risers, and the other on the step treads, one design is visible walking up the stairs while the other is visible walking down.

The opening ceremony will include comments by the artist and representatives from NYCDOT Urban Art Program, Visual AIDS, and the Bronx Borough Commissioner. A non-denominational blessing for the artwork and users of the steps will be officiated by Rev. Seamus Campbell of Ecclesia Ministries, New York.

This artwork is part of Taylor’s ongoing “road tattoo” series, which are commemorative, site-specific,community-based,tattoo-inspired, public artworks on roads and other public thoroughfares. With each road tattoo, Taylor looks for inspiration from the surrounding area and community. The antique gold Celtic knot on the step risers references the neighborhood’s namesake bridge built in 1693, a period embracing ancient Celtic art and culture by the British Monarchy to unify their vast holdings, as well as the local, early Irish settlers whose legacy is felt by the nearby Gaelic Park.

The neo-primitive tattoo designs on the step treads references the strong and dangerous tidal current of Spuyten Duyvil (Spitting Devil) Creek the bridge spanned. Rebuilt many times over the years, the bridge was eventually destroyed after the creek's waters was redirected into a shipping channel and the empty creek was filled in. Ultimately, Taylor hopes the artwork draws attention to the unique urban history of the area and creates a space for conversation about the never-ending desire to tame and mold New York City's geography to suit our needs.

Additional road tattoos by Taylor on view include:


North Streeter Drive at Navy Pier, Chicago, IL, June 2012 - May 2013

Greenburger Family Knot, Old Chatham, NY, 2012