But Where Are You Really From?
06 Jul-31 Aug 2018
Mule Gallery, San Francisco
A Showcase Celebrating Diversity in Sign Painting
“But where are you really from?” is a question often asked of people of color. If it were an informed inquiry then an answer naming a neighborhood or city should suffice. However, the repetition and emphasis placed on the “but” and “really?” of the statement implies that it wasn’t the question they were intending to ask at all. Whether intentional or not, this roundabout way of asking a person’s ethnicity creates a sense of otherness which is based on surface observations and appearances.
The craft of sign making is universal yet historically in the U.S., representations of the sign painting community have not fully reflected the diversity of its participants. In recent years with the resurgence of appreciation for craftsmanship and the immense amount of information available through the internet, there are many new apprentices, students, and sign shops popping up around the world—we are breeding and throwing new generations of diverse sign painters into the mix!
As with any industry, representation matters so this showcase is about celebrating diversity through and within sign painting. We have gathered sign painters from different backgrounds to answer and explore both the aggravating question “but where are you really from?” with pride, and to reflect on how it informs their individual relationship to sign painting. If you really must know—this is where my family is from!
Featuring work for sale from: Alfonso Garcia; Ashley Fundora; Bryan Yonki; Charmaine Chen; Emmanuel Sevilla; John Seastrunk; Jonathan Jardin; Lauren D’Amato; Erick Anguiano; Melvin Lee; Michelle Nguyen; Napang Boonpaung; Nick Lee; Nisha K. Sethi.