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February, 2012:

Featured Fade – Studebaker Service Station Revisited – David Silver

© David Silver

Previously posted on FAB:

Hand-painted Faux Show Cards, Wheatpastes & Woody Guthrie the Sign-Painter

Contrary to popular mythology, it was with paint brushes in hand, not a guitar, that [Woody] Guthrie hit the road for California. He had hocked his guitar . . . and it was his artistic skills that he brokered for room and board.Nora Guthrie

For Woody Guthrie dot org © Shepard Fairey, Obey Giant

I’ve had more than my share of time on my hands the last few days – off my feet due to an accident – and I’ve been watching Turner Classics. We watched back-to-back The Grapes of Wrath, based on Steinbeck’s brutal retelling of the Dustbowl era and how big industry exploited American migrant workers during our great economic catastrophe (sound familiar?), and Bound For Glory, the story of Woody Guthrie’s phenomenal yet  humble beginnings of an illustrious career played quite convincingly by David Carradine. During both films, the stark reality of how history repeats itself was made evident – and now yet again the American majority is being exploited by bailed-out banking institutions and holier-than-thou conservative politicians.

Woody Guthrie: Art Works - Rizzoli Books - Authors Steven Brower & Nora Guthrie

As I went walking I saw a sign there – And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.” – But on the other side it didn’t say nothing, – That side was made for you and me. – Alternative verse from This Land is Your Land – Woodie Guthrie

Woody’s first chosen pursuit was painting illustrations and text — he painted signs for businesses to earn a living as a young man before his music became the wellspring of his legacy. As powerful as music can be as medium for social change, the melding of slogans & graphic images has been a powerful and enduring propagandistic tool for both worthy and misguided causes. From Shepard Fairey‘s brilliant Obama Hope Campaign posters to the early hand-painted wall ads for tobacco companies, text and image has been used to persuade, convert, or pervert the masses. Naturally, I was delighted to see Fairey’s “exquisite print” he created for Guthrie’s centennial as a fundraiser when I went to the Official Guthrie Website after seeing the film of his early life. Yet even the simplest urging from a handcrafted store sign or for a sale generated by a stylistic grocery store show card can stop you in your tracks and send you down the aisle looking for a circular coupon. On the Kaufmann Mercantile blog the art of the “snappers,” the slang term that was used to call sign painters, is celebrated and analyzed.

Mixed type and tense lines. From Simplified Show Card Writing, Carl Rousseau Havighorst, 1942 via The Annie Show via Newhouse Books- Kaufmann Mercantile CLICK FOR LINK

Below are the works of who I believe to be a single anonymous snapper who has been posting show cards with wheat paste for ironic and dubious products at bargain prices from the shores of the Gowanus to the wigwams of Tacoma over the last eight years. No clue as to who he or she is but would love to give a proper artists’ credit to the creator of these humors ads with the stylish fonts.

Tacoma Faux Show Card Wheatpaste - Previously posted 8-27-2009 - © Frank H. Jump

Myrtle & Bedford Avenues in August 2005 - Previously posted on FAB on May 4, 2008

Sunset Park Industrial - Hamilton Ave - Previously posted on February 20, 2008 © Frank H. Jump

Other wheatpaste mural art:

Woody Guthrie sites of interest:

Featured Fade – Russian People’s Home of Greenpoint – Miss Heather


106 Clay Street © Miss Heather

Of all the curiosities to be found in the Garden Spot this item, which hails from 106 Clay Street, is by far yours truly favorite. It is not only an absolutely stunning hand-painted sign but it is also a reminder of the people who were here before us. A number of you, dear readers, may not be aware of this but at one time Greenpoint had a rather significant Jewish population. These individuals largely immigrated from Germany, Poland and as the above sign indicates: Russia. Regrettably, 106 Clay Street is probably the only vestige left of these peoples’ existence; when they moved on, they took their culture with them. To cite an example, where the C-Town now stands was once the site of a synagogue. There are others.Miss Heather, New York Shitty

Elsewhere on the Internet:

Featured Fade – Duco-Dulux – DuPont – Brussels, Belgium – Kovel/Son

Bergense Steenweg/Chaussée de Mons © Kovel/Son

© Kovel/Son

© Kovel/Son

DuPont has been using Dulux enamel in automotive coatings since 1926. Dulux actually owes its existence to a flaw in its more famous cousin, Duco. This nitrocellulose lacquer first brought color to automobiles when General Motors used it in 1923. It was thick and quick drying, which pleased carmakers, but frustrating for consumers who couldn’t apply it like the oil-based paints they were used to. So DuPont researchers tried mixing synthetic alkyd resins with oil and found that the resulting enamel’s drying time was slower than Duco but faster than that of traditional oil paint. Dulux alkyd resin, named in 1926, also had a pleasing high-gloss look. By the early 1930s it won over consumers under the label Dulux “Brush” Duco.

Dulux high-gloss enamels were also used widely in the 1930s on refrigerators and washing machines, outdoor signs, gasoline service stations and pumps, and railroad cars. Once tried as an undercoating for Duco auto paint, Dulux also found a niche as a low-cost alternative to Duco auto finishes. In 1954 some automobile manufacturers chose an improved Dulux alkyd enamel over Duco, and over DuPont’s new water-based Lucite® acrylic lacquer. However, Lucite® soon pulled ahead in household sales, and after DuPont developed a new acrylic polymer in 1957, Lucite® also outshone Dulux in the appliance and industrial markets. DuPont sold its consumer paint business in 1983. – DuPont dot com

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Ghost signs from Vancouver’s past spring up to haunt us still

Ghost signs from Vancouver’s past spring up to haunt us still.


VANCOUVER — Ninety years after it was covered up by a building, a “ghost sign” for a 1922 movie has reappeared at Granville and Robson.

The sign promotes the Harold Lloyd comedy Grandma’s Boy, which played at the Capitol theatre Oct. 2-7, 1922.

The sign is painted onto the north wall of the Power block at 817 Granville, across the street from where the Capitol opened in 1921. Hence the sign includes a red circle reading “Capitol over there,” and features a wonderful disembodied hand with a finger pointing across the street.

Automotive Parts – Chinatown – Chicago, IL

© Vincenzo Aiosa

John Kelly & Frank Jump Sing People’s Parties @ Barnes & Noble – World AIDS Day 2011

Chinatown Gardens – Chinatown – Chicago, IL

© Vincenzo Aiosa

© Vincenzo Aiosa

Katz & Tauber – Cosmetics, Shaving Supplies, Toothpaste & Oral (?) Preparations – Avenue N – Flatlands, Brooklyn

© Vincenzo Aiosa

© Vincenzo Aiosa

© Vincenzo Aiosa

© Vincenzo Aiosa

© Vincenzo Aiosa

Elsewhere on the Internet: