Visual Art Faded, Maybe, But Not Useless
posted by August 31 at 15:38 PMon
Last week, when I posted an item announcing that local artists (including NKO) were starting work on a large mural on the side of the Monique Lofts, I asked this question:
Are they covering up all the ghost signage? I sincerely hope not.
Which brought this response from Gurldoggie:
I agree with preserving context when it’s meaningful, but the importance of a decades-old service station ad eludes me. What’s the history you want to preserve? It’s not like it’s a stop on the underground railroad - it’s just a place people used to get their oil changed. To me it doesn’t seem like anything worth preserving.
Except that ghost signs are part of a long history of sign-painting. Advertising may be corporate today, but back in the day, itinerant sign painters would go door to door offering their services to small businesses. That’s how those signs went up. They represent a very cool, mostly lost tradition of independent craftspeople.
Which is exactly what the artists on the mural said they’re thinking when I finally got out to ask them on Friday. They’re not covering up the ghost signs.
We like them. We have histories as sign painters, too. It’s part of the history of this wall, and it adds a layer of depth to the ground.
Photos of the project in process will be appearing here.