Artist Statement

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Cayla Skillin-Brauchle (American, b. 1984), Super Speed, 2017, Dura-Lar, acrylic ink, colored pencil, hardware, 240 pieces, 120 x 240 inches, courtesy of the artist, Salem, Oregon

 

Artist Statement: SUPERSPEED!

In 2012, I moved to India. My relationship with India, particularly the state of Maharashtra and the cities of Pune and Mumbai, was nearly a decade old and I arrived with the express purpose of studying the elaborately painted and ornately adorned Indian cargo trucks traversing Indian highways. Buoyed by a Fulbright-Nehru grant I spent a year visiting truck yards, painting shops and decoration depots, interviewing builders, painters, artisans, artists, truck drivers and owners and asking one driving question: Why are utilitarian trucks on Indian highways so vibrantly decorated? If asked what I had learned from this research in 2013, I might have answered with specifics about religious iconography, national regulations, superstitious traditions or a list describing the tenets of Indian design.

However, 3.5 years later, the lessons I learned in the truck yards are less exacting. SUPERSPEED! is deeply inspired by the inventive, collaborative nature of Indian truck design that I witnessed again and again. SUPERSPEED! is also driven by a question that has lingered within me since 2013: What does it mean to design something to move quickly when in reality the road ahead is slow? The three components of this exhibition meditate on the notion, the depiction and the reality of speed.

- Cayla Skillin-Brauchle