Please join HCCC in the Main Gallery to watch Ken Davis create original signs for For Hire: Contemporary Sign Painting in America during public hours!
December 13 – 15, 10 AM – 5 PM
Ken Davis grew up in the East San Francisco Bay. He was influenced at a very early age by his grandmother and still remembers the scent of turpentine that lingered in her studio. Davis continues to be inspired by commercial art and everyday relics. His work is influenced by skateboarding, punk, and hip-hop culture of the early 1990s. Around 2004, he began to pursue a career in lettering, with the encouragement of friends and a collection of sign-painting books that he used to teach himself the trade. A few years later, at New Bohemia Signs in San Francisco, he met Josh Luke and Damon Styer, with whom he studied and who later employed him as a full-time sign painter for five years before he started his own mobile practice. As a sign painter, Davis’ experience stems from a lineage of sign painters, and he shares this knowledge with newer generations working in the trade. His creative pursuits include sign painting, skateboard graphics, apparel, murals, and fine art. When speaking about the motivation behind his career, Davis says, “Discover what makes you useful to Earth, and never give up on it.”
Above: Ken Davis’ work in progress at Five Color Cowboy in San Jose. Photo by Johnny Granado via KQED Arts.