Graffiti artist turned traditional sign painter Alex Sublett @alexsublett Hardship Sign co. made his debut at the Republic Bank First Friday Hop in April at @flame_run_gallery with the opening show “The Mirror Dimension”. I met Alex on the Hop and he was immediately warm and welcomed me to take a few photos of his work and talk about some of his inspiration. Like his work, he was clear and open and easy to connect with and as steady as his pinstriping. There is a good chance you have already seen some of Alex’ work and didn’t even know it as it graces the wayfinding of some of our favorite First Friday stops like Red Hot Roasters in the Butchertown Block.
Alex’ typography is new and yet familiar with an organic lean. In a world filled with carefully cleaned and font-family homogenized graphics the letter for letter application of a simple message can speak volumes more than just it’s simple direction. Not that there isn’t room for perfect repetition it’s just in a world where that is becoming the norm, the handwritten letter is becoming something really special, an opportunity, a celebration, a love letter. Alex’ work could easily be done in the stilled language of Helvetica Neue or a hasty Arial Bold but in true Louisville fashion, not printed or, not emailed, not instagrammed, not projected onto the wall, irreproducibly unique to its exact environment, it just feels so much more personal, unique, and just for us in exactly this moment. Alex’ “I have a bone to pick” and “Go Play outside” hits home in a way that only hand lettering work can. “Come on in” is transformed from an advertisement to an invitation among friends. Ok clearly I have a bias as I love hand lettering. I think it marries traditional arts and graphic design in such an important way. So much of contemporary art is about messaging and communication and I think there is so much work to be done, so much more to gain by reclaiming the lost art of hand lettered signs and Alex will definitely be welcome on the forefront of that conversation here in Louisville. Want to get his take on the current scene? Check out his artist statement here:
(You can also follow him on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/alexsublett/ )
Hey! This is Alex from the art gallery at Flame Run. Here is my artist statement that you asked for!
As far as I can remember I have always had some sort of passion for art. I was introduced to the very hated subculture of hip hop graffiti at a very young age. Which is where I found how easy it was for me to bend and break the traditional forms of letters and give the alphabet more style and attitude. It wasn’t until a year ago when I came across a Copenhagen sign painter Jakob Engberg (Copenhagen Signs) that I discovered the art of sign painting. Fast forward a year and it’s all I think about, talk about, or even want to do. In the past year, I have had a very humbling amount of support and interest in my work and have branded myself under the name of Hardship Signs.
If you have any questions let me know!
Sent from my iPhone