It goes without saying that I am a huge fan of street art.
One day while I was wandering through the streets of Rome, Italy, I noticed something very interesting on one of the street signs: there was a silhouette man on it, and I was very curious to know who had put him there. That night when I returned to my rental apartment, I decided to do some research on my finding.
During my research, I found out that the artist was Clet Abraham, and that he was based in Florence. I decided then and there that when I made my way to Florence, I would look for more work by the artist and capture it.
Who is Clet?
Clet Abraham is a French modern and street artist based in Florence, Italy. Since 1996, he has been placing his artwork on street signs all across Europe in cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Paris, Barcelona, Brussels, Rome, and Florence.
Clet’s street art is very unique in that he does not use walls or buildings to display his work, but he chooses to use road signs. His reasoning for choosing to use signs is this: “I decided to change the signs to defuse the meaning of road signs and the irony on the social rules, offering a smile, and above all, a boost to reflect current constraints on ‘civil’ society. Traffic sign is a form of universal communication, and it is also the visual symbol of undisputed authority, obedience. My contribution was to stimulate debate and the claim of relativity.” (Interview with SpringLeap)
Clet has exhibited his artwork in galleries in Rome, Paris, and Brittany and has been featured in several publications and on numerous websites.
See Clet in Action & Learn About His Work
Video: “Urban Cartoon”
Video: “From Darkness to Light”
Clet in Florence
While I was in Florence, I stopped by Clet’s studio (Via dell’Olmo, 8) in San Niccolò neighborhood in Florence’s Oltrarno district. The shop, where Clet designs all of his pieces, is full of displays of his street art, paintings that he has created, and items for sale.
Most people end up seeing Clet’s art on the streets of Florence or elsewhere in the world. His work is on the street signs everywhere you look; It is impossible visit the city without seeing at least one piece of his famous signs.
Below are the the Clet pieces that I captured during my trip to the city.
Clet in New York
During my visit to Clet’s studio in Florence, he informed me that he would be coming to New York later in the year. I was lucky enough to have a sneak peak at some of the artwork that he planned to put up.
When Clet made his journey across the ocean over to New York, the website Animal in New York followed him around as he tagged street signs around the city and they captured the following video: