A written word from the dapper Jeremy Greene himself…
Here is the account of the Memphis Type photographs.
One summer, I had an intern who was learning digital photography. I had the idea that an interesting way to help teach some technique was to do an actual project rather than point at buttons on a camera and say “push this.” So we began a weekly photo blog called Memphis Type. It was an ongoing collection of interesting signage, graffiti, and typography found around Memphis.
After that summer, I continued to find and shoot signs around town as I was out and about. I have a love for old things like Dave Brubeck, mid-60s Chevys, abandoned buildings and cheese. I also love graffiti. It’s a fascinating thing to me that some mysterious artist creates a beautiful piece of art, only to receive no credit for it and have it destroyed soon after they’re finished. So if you can capture that in a photograph, it seems to live on and become an even greater work.
One fall, Rebecca Phillips contacted me about recreating a selection of the original images into acrylic paintings. Obviously I agreed and off she went.
The Memphis Type site continued for a few years with periodic additions of my iPhone pictures, not putting much effort into it. I figured I just had a neat collection, so I should keep it going.
Well, one thing led to another and Rebecca’s paintings grew in popularity and attracted the attention of other local artists and eventually the American History Press.
So now here it is. Thanks to her work and the work of Caitlin Horton of Front Porch Art, the photographs, paintings, and the stories behind them are now being published in a new book for Memphis Type History. I am honored to be a part of it and hope it helps other people to appreciate the old things as I do, even if it won’t include Dave Brubeck or cheese.”
– Jeremy Greene
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