French artist Clet Abraham alters road signs… and drives councils mad across Europe

Thirty smile an hour zone: Cheeky artist changes road signs with stickers… and is driving councils mad across Europe
French artist Clet Abraham has amended street signs across EuropeHis aim is to entertain and make people think about blindly obeying orders

By
Tara Brady

PUBLISHED:

21:42 GMT, 28 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:57 GMT, 29 January 2013

He is every council's worst nightmare but artist Clet Abraham has a serious message to get across.

Forget Banksy. This classically trained artist, who now lives in Florence, has been sneaking around cities across Europe in the middle of the night and strategically placing stickers on street signs to alter their meanings.

And while passers-by may crack a smile when they see the humorous signage, Abraham hopes people will think twice next time they are asked to follow an instruction.

Clet Abraham's signs

Clet Abraham's signs

Secret message: Clet Abraham uses road signs and alters their meanings to challenge the way we think

Thought provoking: Abraham's changed this sign so it appeared Jesus Christ was hanging on a dead-end sign

Thought-provoking: Abraham's changed this sign so it appeared Jesus Christ was hanging on a dead-end sign

Clet Abraham's signs

Clet Abraham's signs

Not everyone has been impressed with the signs and Abraham was reportedly fined 400 euros in one city

Abraham's thought-provoking works of guerrilla art hope to challenge the way society restricts itself with rules and regulations.

He believes signs are stopping individual expression and thought and many of his pieces of work make reference to religion.

In one a black silhouette sneakily carries off a no-entry bar while in another a crucified Jesus Christ hangs on a dead-end sign.

However, not everyone has been impressed.

The artist, armed with his trusty pack of stickers, was reportedly once fined 400 euros for vandalising street signs.

Clet Abraham

Clet Abraham

Creative: Clet Abraham believes signs often treat people as idiots and can verge on the absurd

Clet Abraham

Clet Abraham

Challenging: Many will think Abraham's art is fun but every piece has a serious message too

Clet Abraham hopes people driving in their cars will stop and take note of the hidden meanings in his art

Clet Abraham hopes people driving in their cars will stop and take note of the hidden meanings in his art

Abrahams told website Tuscany Arts: 'The omnipresence of street signs can verge on the absurd.

'The message is very poor (sometimes I feel like I’m being treated like an idiot by them) and yet they have a highly invasive aesthetic.

'As a professional in the world of visual space, I feel called to intervene, both to notify the public of the absurdity of the situation, and to propose a constructive and respectful alternative.

'The final objective That traffic keeps flowing without us feeling spoken down to!'

Clet Abraham's art is a comment on the way people are restricted by rules

Clet Abraham's art is a comment on the way people are restricted by rules

Surprise: Clet Abraham works in the middle of the night so no one can catch him altering the signs

Surprise: Clet Abraham works in the middle of the night so no one can catch him altering the signs