Rome Travel Guide

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Street Art: Sign Modifications

One of the most recent developments in the street art world, appalling to some, amusing to others, is the adaptation (some would say abuse) of street signs.  These adaptations run the gamut from simple tagging and stickering to clever reuse, and the best of them--we are sticking our necks out here, into a universe we know to harbor understandable concerns--have a Warholian feel in the way they manipulate the most common of symbols to produce new meaning.  We've been recording the results for several years.  

Rome, at night.  Our first sighting of the genre, and a
design that's been copied. Two dimensions become
three.  Right hand a nice touch. 
Upper left, the same design as the first sign.  Lower right, the
standard sticker job--no cigar. 
A mess

On the Gianicolo.  That appears to be the
Mona Lisa. 
Anti-apartheid.  Sign politics.  Nothing
clever here, or artistic.   

From a distance, looks like another mess.
Close up, it's serious and nicely designed.
Unfortunate tagging. 

Florence.  Good work with 3 dimensions.
Florence.  Looks normal from a distance. 
Nice color work, paint job. 

We've since learned that the Florence pieces are by a French artist, Clet Abraham.  Clet's work is not appreciated by the Florence authorities; he's been fined, and fined again.  He has also left his mark in Brussels, where he goes about the city on a bicycle, modifying signs.  You can see him at work in this video--and following it, about two dozen examples of his work.  

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