Alex Kurunis documents the declining art of hand-painted signage

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Alex Kurunis documents the declining art of hand-painted signage


Pointing out the lineage from Mexico’s illustrious history of mural artists like José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, Alex explains that commercial sign-painting in Mexico is known as “el otro muralismo”, or “the other muralism”. While the rotulistas may not work to the same acclaim or grand scale as Mexico’s great muralists, their work brings “ingenious colour, character and humour to the forefront of businesses”, says Alex.

Talking to lifelong sign painter, Alfredo of 3D Rotulos in Puebla, the photographer discovered that “less and less rotulistas are being newly trained”, with the encroachment of digitally-printed signs into cities. “Despite this, the trade lives on across Mexico and is treasured by many as a flagship of Mexico’s visual identity.”

Keenly aware that his series makes just a “scratch” on the surface of this valued part of Mexico’s multi-facetted visual culture, Alex hopes to continue his travels in the future and meet more of the people who are preserving this traditional craft.



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