Sign Hacking in Florence

Next time you visit Florence, take a look up. No, not straight up to the top of the grand dome of the Duomo, or of the fluttering rows of laundry hanging out the windows. Look at the street signs. Since the summer of 2010, Clet Abraham has been plastering stickers to the cities signs, turning something that wouldn’t get a second glance into art.

I happened to notice one sign in passing while roaming the streets of Florence. And then another and another. And then I got interested. And then one rainy morning, I stopped at another sign. Trying to figure out why the camera wouldn’t let me adjust the aperture, Kristin wandered across the street and hit the jackpot. Apparently we just so happened to stop right in front of Clet’s studio on the north bank of Florence.

The young girl inside told us Clet’s story- a french painter and sculptor who’s lived in Italy for the last 20 years. His medium is varied, but in recent years has become semi-famous in different communities for these redesigned street signs.

So often when you travel you find yourself in museums looking at old art or on the street looking at old buildings. But which locals are making their mark right here and now? Who knows, in twenty years people might be flocking to Florence to see Clet. Just remember, you saw it here first.











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