Artur Silva

Artists in Downtown Indianapolis

Allegory of the Cave: State Fair, 2012

"I think that the Indiana state fair is an emblematic event of this state, and tradition connected to the vast rural character of much of Indiana. In the context of state fairs, a carnival is a common highlight of the fair and what I have chosen to depict in this work. Carnival feels out of place among the cows, tractors and fried Pepsi, but it's the part of the fair I look forward to the most. I love Coney Island and used to go there frequently when I lived in New York. The odd contrasts also remind me of Carnaval in my native Brazil. I am fascinated by the traveling aspect of carnivals and by how, at some point in the past, these rides must have had a very different impact for this landlocked state.

I created this composition with patterns that I photographed at the fair, mostly at the carnival. A few references from my own past—hibiscus flowers and pineapple—make an appearance in this piece as well.

Many of the patterns came straight out of photos I took of rides; others were created based on artwork that adorns them."
— Artur Silva (Indianapolis, IN) 

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