In January 2007, I spent 3 weeks criss-crossing India in an autorickshaw. For those of you familiar with this splendid vehicle, it’s a 3-wheeled, motorized rickshaw, much like a moped with a windshield and canvas roof.

It was an incredible way to see the country. While trying to stay alive, I couldn’t help but marvel at the roadway artwork.If an Indian vehicle hauls anything – from hay to humans – it is decorated to the fullest degree. Trucks, taxis, rickshaws, pedi-taxis, even ox carts, are covered stem to stern in slogans, initials, pictographs, floral designs and stripes. Usually all at once. No space is left untouched. Even the windshields are bespangled until the barest minimum space is left to operate the vehicle to a passable degree.


Taxis and trucks in particular have the word “Stop” painted on the lower left corner of the rear. It’s a plea really, for whatever is behind them, to pay close attention and at the slightest provocation, slam on the brakes.This book has examples of this “functional,” outsider art, with some other road images tossed in.

STOP— Anthony P. Munoz