Monday, August 25, 2008

The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!

ALGOMA, WI - This one is for my friend Mark Kalan, who spent years photographing decaying wall signs and has one of the most formidable collections of same I've ever seen. Mark's work is being undone by a gorup of artists calling themselves The Walldogs who invade little towns and paint signs on the walls.

I'm in one such town right now: Algoma, Wisconsin. The first thing that caught my eye was, of course, their water tower, which is very bright yellow. Next, and it was subtle but I started to get it, was the enormous amount of painted signage for a small, clean but sleepy, little city. I couldn't believe it. Everywhere I turn I see these signs. The town of Algoma, WI was invaded by more than 100 WallDogs last summer. This town was already beautiful before they got here but now they've left their mark and painted 10 murals. Yes, the Walldogs have done their dirty work and it is damned good! This morning, while trying to find a grocery store to buy coffee, I drove all over this town photographing the signage. I photographed as many as I could find, and I'm certain I've missed some. Here's a few for your perusal.


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