Marc Shur

A successful career as an art director and graphic designer helped prepare me for a career as a photographer. Whether for national TV campaigns or local print ads, good advertising is about storytelling and only imagery essential to the story is used. Nothing is wasted or extraneous—even the white space works to draw the eye to the product or message. I try to bring this same level of focus to my photography. My pictures tell a story and every inch of the image is a part of that story, a retelling of each sign’s history.

Why signs? I’ve always been drawn to old things—the worn, the distressed, the forgotten. Many of the signs I’ve photographed are virtually invisible to most people. Their colors have faded and their paint is peeling, but old signs were once works of art themselves done by designers like me. They were landmarks and guideposts, promising a cold beer, a good meal or even a good time. They helped define a street, a neighborhood and an era. They had power. As a photographer, I want to give them a second life, pull them out of the past and elevate them once again to a place of distinction and even grandeur. I strive for a sense of hyperrealism and a graphic feel in my photographs, wanting the signs to be larger than life, appearing much bigger and important than they do in real life. I want people to see the colors and details as if they were standing just a few feet away.

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  • Glendale, California, USA