Graduation Year

Fall 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Reader 1

Susan Rankaitis

Reader 2

Julia Haft-Candell

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Rights Information

© 2013 William P. Yandell


The story of the Tricycle Gang begins when I was in pre-school. At the young age of four, my three friends and I decided that we were going to be the only ones allowed to ride the four tricycles on the playground. Our small gang rode around the playground feeling powerful, swinging our shirts above our heads as we chased our classmates around the play structure.

As I have grown older, I have recognized the strangeness of my preschool experience. Why would a well to do four-year-old think to form a gang at such and early age? Without much exposure to gangs, where would this idea have come from?

My thesis tells the story of my little clique, and then moves to explore the motivations behind joining gangs, especially at a young age, and discusses children’s perceptions of them. I then go on to discuss power structures by looking at the philosophical works of Nietzsche and Machiavelli. Lastly, I put my art in historical and cultural context be examining artists with similar bodies of work.

My work is an installation piece in wood and plaster. In my first semester, I will be completing one of the tricycle gangsters sitting on his tricycle, modeled after myself. The tricycle is made of wood and the figure is a plaster cast. The plaster cast will be dressed in clothing reminiscent of the tricycle gang, and then painted one solid color, clothes and all. If my work makes it into the spring show, I will build out the gang to four figures.


Submitted to Claremont McKenna College and Scripps College in partial fulfillment of the degree of Bachelor of Art.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.