In American Motel Signs, photographer Steve Fitch presents a series of roadside marquees that dot the landscape of the American West. His photographs capture anachronistic emblems of Americana that stand as relics of the past. Each sign was the work of skilled metal workers, neon benders, and painters employed by local sign shops. Each photograph is a document of Fitch’s own journey across the West and offer an enchanted look at a roadside culture that’s fading from memory. “They were signs found mostly along our country’s two-lane highways before the onslaught of motel franchises with the exact same sign at dozens or hundreds of locations throughout the country,” says Fitch, whose series constitutes a typography. “All Motel 6 signs, for example, are identical, whereas the signs that I discover and like to photograph are each unique — there is only one. In some ways, they are like folk art to me.” Steve Fitch: American Motel Signs 1980-2018 is an ongoing virtual exhibition, currently on view, that can be accessed at motelsigns.photoeye.com.
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