Fine Art in Plain Sight

May 23, 2014 Wisconsin Public Television Leave a Comment

Have you ever been driving through a major city and seen a really cool ad painted on the side of a building? Or an old time Coca Cola poster that caught your eye? This week on Director’s Cut, I sit down with co-directors Faythe Levine and Sam Macon, whose documentary “Sign Painters” explores this little known craft and its talented artists.

View a quick clip in which a veteran sign painter offers “always ask before you use pink.”


Admittedly, there have been many times when I’ve seen these works and not even thought about where they came from. Now I know. The Levine-Macon team does a masterful job of telling a story about some very quirky people who still manage to stay afloat in a field that has seen its day. The sign painters themselves at times are as interesting as their work. The pacing of a film is spot on which, because of its subject matter, has the potential to be slow moving.

Milwaukee-born Macon now makes his home in Chicago directing commercials and music videos. Levine lives in Milwaukee, and, in addition to filmmaking, is an artist and photographer. This is the first time they’ve shared the director’s chair and “Sign Painters” is as fun as it is insightful. Hope to see you tonight for Directors Cut on Wisconsin Public Television.

Sign Painters airs on Wisconsin Public Television Friday May 23

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