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© LivornoDP / WikiCommons

These Secret Works of Art Are Hidden in Street Signs All Over the World

Picture of India Irving
Social Content Producer
Updated: 21 December 2017

Next time you’re traveling in a new city, check to see if the street signs are really as normal as you may think.

French artist Clet Abraham has been placing his discreet and fun stickers to street signs across the globe for years, but they’re not so easy to spot if you aren’t looking for them!

president's dog. Paris

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From Florence to London to Hong Kong, Clet applies his guerrilla art to a very unlikely source. In his choice of traffic signs, the street artist risks that some won’t ever notice his work, but he is so creative in his alterations that most people do – and he has the Insta following to prove it!

From Hongkong with love

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From turning yield signs into praying hands to making cat faces out of no-entry ones, his playful work not only makes observers smile but also, thanks to his careful planning, does not alter the meaning of the signs themselves, so neither drivers nor pedestrians are at risk.

I pray you, a little attention Before I was a normal exclamation point and no one was watching me. who created me thought we, road signs, we all had to be identical to be recognizable. So we have become banal and boring. Who created us was so obsessed with his authority and his rules that at one point he stopped thinking. And so he made us stupid. Boring and stupid, it's clear that people do not like us! We had to be the salvation of the traffic but in fact there are still a lot of road accidents, proof of our inefficiency, and nobody looks at us anymore. So I bravely decided to change and become different to regain some consideration. So I became a prayer. Because I wanted to tell the world that "me too, road sign, I need love"! Happy holidays. The Prayer. #clet #cletabraham #streetart #firenze #nomorerules #boring #pray #peace #streetsign #roadsign #needlove #allweneedislove

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Though much of his work is playful and light in tone, some of his pieces bridge more serious topics, such as this Do Not Enter sign on the Manhattan Bridge bearing the Statue of Liberty, which begs greater questions of borders, politics and freedom in America.

NYC Manhattan bridge

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No matter the subject matter, the work is considered graffiti and hence is still illegal in many cities, so Clet has to be careful to work stealthily and in the dark in places where his artwork is not altogether welcome. Due to this, he tends to apply his artwork at night and says he can do it in as quickly as just 10 seconds!

Legalities aside, Clet’s art is celebrated by the art world and can be viewed in many international galleries as well as on its original canvas: the streets.

Rebel Sumo in Dublin, why not?

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Young girl running to her love

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Urban totem

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