If you've spent any time in Firenze, chances are you've come across one of Clet's amusing and provocative street signs. Abraham Clet, a French painter & sculptor, has lived in Italy for over 20 years, and has called Firenze his home for most of them. He has become famous for cleverly altering road signs with removable stickers that he hand-draws, then has them digitized and made into vinyl adhesives. They are then strategically placed so that they don't compromise the traffic sign’s original function.
Clet's transformed signs are not just amusing, but are meant to be provocative. Using street signs as his canvas, Clet continuously challenges institutions and stereotypes that currently exist in our culture. His intent is to encourage people to re-think concepts of justice. He encourages us to always ask the question "Why?" and not just quietly accept the norms or stereotypes imposed by mainstream society, and the powers-that-be; limiting our individual expression and thought.
Armed with his pack of removable adhesives, Clet roams the streets at night looking for road signs to modify. I love how he maintains the integrity of the signs, while enhancing them to make us stop and think. “I don’t damage the signs – because I use stickers – but I wake up attention and I create a dialogue,” he says. Brilliant!
Clet has modified signs throughout Europe, in Japan, and even came to New York City in 2014. Bummer that I missed him. You must return! Deve ritornare!
One afternoon I took a walk over to San Niccolo, in the Oltrarno area of Firenze, to visit his studio. I'm sharing some photos here, but I highly recommend putting it on your itinerary & checking it out for yourself. It's located on Via Dell’Olmo 8r, right off of Via San Niccolo. You can also follow Clet on Facebook and on Instagram.
Buon Weekend & Big Love, PatriciaG