One of the things I enjoyed the most about walking around in Baltimore was looking up at the old building walls of downtown and seeing the painted advertisements. Many were so worn you couldn't make them out, some had been partially covered in graffiti, however quite a few were still recognizable. This is in image though, not name, as these ads are for products and businesses that are now long gone. And that's what I like, these seemingly inconsequential paintings have become colorful brick placeholders for a piece of history that no longer exists. Even as windows have made way for boards and roofs have caved hiding the past there are reminders of a former life.
These sorts of things make my insides pulse like a flux capacitor, revving my imagination into exploratory overdrive, wondering what it was like when these walls were new. Even as a child I remember going to The Square and I couldn't help but be fascinated by the old-timey murals that seemed so foreign... and hey, it was the 80's, so that was about as far as you get from neon and the familiar.
Up There is a documentary about folks that still practice this dying form of advertising. As the years go by I know "progress" has been making its best efforts at displacing hand-made art -- things that are slowly crafted or beautifully flawed. But there is less permanence, no heart. The subjects of this movie definitely have the latter, and a commitment to work that takes patience and skill. These days commerce may dictate with less money you can make more money, but I truly appreciate men and women that continue to practice antiquated professions. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.
[ via Crew Design ]