Tag: Granary Art Center

15 Bytes | Exhibition Reviews | Visual Arts

Untamed Rebellion: The Custom Car Art of Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth

America has a way of normalizing rebellion. Beat poets in smoky coffee shops turned into hipster coders in Starbucks; the opt-outs of surf culture were transformed into commercial commodities packaged by Gidget and The Beach Boys; and the body art once reserved for sailors has become a rite of passage for 21st-century housewives. Mid-century hot-rod culture has gone through a similar domestication: vestiges of its fiery independence and outsider quality can be found in the low-rider tradition of Mexican Americans, but hot-rods are now a matter of nostalgic collecting for graying baby boomers, and the “weirdo” vibe of Kustom Kulture has become normalized to the point that the bulgy-eyed, adrenaline-fueled monsters that were once synonymous with the rebellious nature of the subculture have become part of the mainstream: you’ll see similar characters on almost any program of the Cartoon Network.