Where do old traffic signs go when they are done directing people to slow down, merge left or not to park in a certain spot? If Rhode Island-based artist Boris Bally gets ahold of them, they become part of his upscale, museum-quality line of furniture and other art pieces. "The 'Transit Series' is designed to supply artistically aware consumers with a piece a raw American culture. They display their traffic-graffic roots with a useful Pop aesthetic and are an artistic trophy of our daily urban environment, Bally explains."
"Traffic signs sort of smack you in the face all of a sudden," Bally continues. "They’re so authoritarian. It’s fun to make them into something useful, plus it’s recycling."
Bally’s Transit Chairs, which are featured in the collection of The Carnegie Museum of Art, are tall-backed chairs fabricated from re-used signs declaring orders such as “Speed Limit 40” and “No Parking”. The signs’ bold graphics create clean lines and interesting patterns on the seats, legs and backs of these one-of-a-kind chairs. “Until I began experimenting with recycled traffic signage, nobody had seen the potential elegance of this discarded aluminum,” Bally says.
Bally also starts with signs to create the pieces in his line of Urban Enamel Platters. Color is the key to these plates, which also feature hand-spun and hand-pierced aluminum and copper rivets. Bally employs a variety of techniques for the platters; some are hand-raised, some are perforated and shaped and some are lathe-turned. No doubt, though, they are all incredibly unique.
When most of us see a stop or yield sign we do as we are told and don’t think it through any further. When Bally sees a road sign, he sees his next work of art.
Find out more at www.BorisBally.com or visit www.guild.com
Article written by M.B.Roberts