Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gold is Good too

  Gold leaf is its own special kind of wizardry. The Daylight building has multiple facets of flair in its architecture.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fluoro Flair

Can I get a wetness? Its been a soggy new year so far in the City of Flair.

Sugar Magnolia

Here's the question: Is the best flair in all of Knoxville on Magnolia Avenue?

Its hard to say considering all the undiscovered masterpieces that sit in South Knoxville just waiting for their time to shine on the Flairspot. But this much is known: there are a number of jewels that lie long this special strip of pavement that sowed the seeds of inspiration for this site. Its time we took a look at a few of those marvels here in appreciation of their street-side brilliance.

 Pizza Palace is of course the gold standard for greatness in Flair. This sign has everything: history, great lettering, multiple facets, an incredible chef graphic, and (like the electrical icing on the cake) liberal use of neon. Wow. They just don't make them like this anymore.

In spite of all those great thing this sign above has going for it, its still not my favorite on the strip. That distinction belongs to the fine folks at Century Pool Supply. All hand-painted and eye-catching plus a friggin' water slide on the roof to boot.

And this masterpiece in the window.

  Bold brush strokes and great textures by the painter. Look at how well they captured the perfect expression of a scared pool slider AND simultaneously managed to avoid having to paint that expression on the girl's face by putting her hand over it. Well done.
This is my favorite work of sign painting so far in the entire city of Knoxville. Were always on the lookout for more contenders though.

To top it all off we have this jewelry sign so close to CPS its hard to tell if its a part of the business or not.  Either way it marks the third piece of Clock Flair in the area along with Ideal and Keeton's.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Marchin', Looking for Supreme Flair (pt. 2)

 Some of the best stuff to be seen on MLK ave. is waiting toward the eastern end of the street along the 3800/3900 blocks. Sadly most of these businesses seem to be closed and long defunct except for the bails bondsmen.
A unique metal sign for Keeton's Jewelry.

 OK Furniture has an excellent facade lettering. But it had been a few weeks since we last looked and unfortunately the bulk of it has now disappeared! Alas, the flair don't last.
Fortunately Google maps can help document what K*Flair couldn't get to in time.

 Unchained has some great hand-painted signage, complete with mysterious flesh colored shapes in the palm of their hands. What's going on there?
 Further inspection confirms its no one-off accident: the fleshy chain bits are repeated on each iteration of the logo. Weird and we like it.

 Finally, let us remember the most excellent logo of Wangs n' Thangs. Here it is in vinyl framed nicely by these yellow burglar bars. But it also used to exist in a much larger, hand-painted form on both sides of this small building. Alas, those were buffed some time in the past year but Googoo maps comes through for us again.

Marchin', Looking for supreme Flair (pt. 1)

Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. in East Knoxville is rife with great flair. Hand painted works abound for blocks and blocks. Its worth checking out any old day but what better way to survey the surroundings than with a parade full of people? So it went yesterday as our correspondent took part documenting the sights and signs.
There was a lot of great portraiture on display this day. The artist of this gem is on the left.

The NAACP offices on Olive St.

 Classic lettering and illustrations on Hobby's.

Great service and shining suits at Ideal's Dry Cleaning

Frederick Douglass, MLK, and Oprah on the back of a float.

Speaking of Portraiture: It doesn't get much better than these good looking folks on the front of the defunct Bates Barber and Beauty Salon.

Road runner flair for the home team.

 Ukesphere of Knoxville came out and represented. They rocked it with flair and fingerpicking, performing "This Little Light of Mine" while this picture was taken.

The YWCA float featured not one but two portraits of the man! Plus some purple mountain majesty to set the scene. Artist & Float Driver - Steph Untz