Sport Illustrated

Though NASCAR's position in popular culture is totally solidified, the sport has never been what you'd call art-gallery material. Shawn Hardegree, who grew up in Georgia and spent hours at the racetrack with his father, is looking to change that with the sophisticated "paint what you know" techniques displayed in his "Symphony of Destruction" exhibit.

"I began searching the history of where I come from, and started thinking about mass culture and the relationship between spectacle and art," Hardegree says. "I make paintings of sport in which drivers make millions, but the people who watch it have as hard a time buying a piece of art as I do, and yet they can still have the same emotional response to a painting as they do at the race."

Sept. 7-28, 2007
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Niamh Wallace