This is one side of a two-sided hand-painted sandwich sign that a beauty salon used to advertise its business in Togo. The painting has been removed from the frame that one time supported it on the ground in front of the stylist’s shop. The other side of this same sign is also available on this site, item # 629. The other one is almost identical to this one except the arrow is pointing in the other direction; when both of these signs were mounted on the frames, hinged at the top, both arrows pointed to the salon. These signs were painted by an accomplished, though anonymous, commercial artist.
This sign measures 25 1/2 x 41″ (64.8 x 104 cm).
What stands out about this sign are the two large women’s heads, beautifully painted by hand, on a light blue background. There is just a simple word at the top of the sign, in bold red letters, SALON. There is a large green arrow pointing to the left just under the word SALON. The woman on the top has straight hair and is looking to the right and is smiling broadly. Only her left ear is visible, with a small post earring. The other woman, below on the sign, is looking back over her left shoulder. Her hair is long and braided. Her mouth is open with some of her teeth visible.
Both women’s hairstyles show a lot of detail, a lot of texture, as African hairstyles typically do. The sign is painted on a thin piece of wood and is in very good condition, the edges have a small amount of wear having been protected by the frame to which it used to be attached. This sign clearly was made years ago and was used for many years before we bought it. This form of African art is contemporary; these signs continue to be made although currently the trend seems to be to more professionally printed signs on paper which is now cheaper than hiring an artist. This, therefore, is one of the last of a dying art.