Street Art in Florence: Clet

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? 

Meeting Clet in Florence, Italy (2014)

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 Guitarist Breaking the Ban - Long Live the Music!

Guitarist Breaking the Ban – Long Live the Music!

Clet A Policeman in Love

A Policeman in Love

Clet Is compliance with the rules right when the rule is wrong?

Is compliance with the rules right when the rule is wrong?

Clet "The Pillory"

“The Pillory”

Clet "The Fool"

“The Fool”

Clet A Driver 

A Driver 

Clet An Angel

An Angel

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.

Clet's New York Artwork

Clet’s New York Artwork

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:


Have you ever seen Clet’s work before? Which pieces are your favorite? 

By | 2017-07-30T01:10:04+00:00 January 5th, 2015|Florence, Street Art|16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Kemkem Jan 5, 2015 at 11:22 am - Reply

    I’ve never seen or noticed his street art, but l like it 🙂 . Cool that you got to meet him. Now, l have to keep an eye out when l travel..great post.

    • Chanel Jan 5, 2015 at 11:24 am - Reply

      I love it to! It is so creative Kem and I am happy that we happened to both be in Florence at the same time! 😀

  2. Dennis Kopp Jan 5, 2015 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    Those are really great signs, Chanel! I have actually seen some of them on my trip through Europe last summer, but I thought it was just done by some kids having fun. It’s a really great project though… 🙂

    • Chanel Jan 5, 2015 at 3:16 pm - Reply

      I agree Dennis! The signs are very creative 😀

  3. Brenda Jan 5, 2015 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    I saw these all over Florence this past summer – so much fun! The kids loved them!

    • Chanel Jan 5, 2015 at 4:04 pm - Reply

      They are so much fun Brenda! 😀

  4. Polly Jan 6, 2015 at 3:43 am - Reply

    That’s so cool that you sought him out – love his style!

    • Chanel Jan 6, 2015 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      Yes, I love it too Polly! 😀

  5. Franca Jan 7, 2015 at 10:03 am - Reply

    I love this post Chanel and Clet works too. I have seen its signs a bit everywhere in Europe and I didn’t know who was behind it, it’s nice to put a face to it. 🙂

    • Chanel Jan 7, 2015 at 11:50 pm - Reply

      Thank you Franca! Glad you found out who the artist was 😀

  6. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) Jan 7, 2015 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    I love these signs Chanel – they’re so quirky and creative! I was in Brussels just recently – wish I’d had a chance to spot some of his work there!

    • Chanel Jan 7, 2015 at 11:51 pm - Reply

      They are very creative! I missed his work in Brussels as well and I would have loved to see his work there 😀

  7. Kristin Jan 7, 2015 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Confession– although I love some street art, some of it I find dull and uninspired. I love these signs though! How much do his pieces run for sale? Do people try to swipe his public signs?

    • Chanel Jan 7, 2015 at 11:53 pm - Reply

      That is true, some of the street art I have seen has been dull and uninspiring as well, and I usually skip showcasing it here 😀 He has a lot of different merchandise, although I do not remember the cost. I am sure that people have taken some of the signs!

  8. nadeen Jan 8, 2015 at 1:19 am - Reply

    I went to Florence years ago but dont remember these street signs. very neat! I love his work-so creative! So cool that you were able to meet him and now see his work in NYC! I love the Eiffel tower one! I entered the giveaway so hope I win!

    • Chanel Jan 8, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      It is very creative! 😀 I like his work a lot 😀 Good luck Nadeen!

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