THE OTHER SHINOLA

THE OTHER SHINOLA

Photographer Camilo José Vergara has been returning to Detroit regularly for 40 years. He documents the destruction and the ruins but he has also been recording the signs and murals of the city, the visual legacy of African American culture. With a remarkable diversity of style, scale and subject, the paintings on the walls are fading but in Vergara's photographs they shine.

Read Vergara's proposal for The Other Shinola here.

Curry's Auto, 8081 Livernois Ave., Detroit, 1998. Sign by folk artist Eugene.

© Camilo José Vergara

 

 Curry's Auto, 8081 Livernois Ave., Detroit, 1998. Sign by folk artist Eugene.  © Camilo José Vergara

Curry's Auto, 8081 Livernois Ave., Detroit, 1998. Sign by folk artist Eugene.

© Camilo José Vergara

 A homeless folk artist approached the owner of Willie's Garage about painting the façade. The artist painted the story of transportation, a playful arrangement of letters, vehicles, and animals ranging from donkeys to jet planes. In 2015 the former garage is being refurbished. 2520 Michigan Ave., Detroit, 1991.  © Camilo José Vergara

A homeless folk artist approached the owner of Willie's Garage about painting the façade. The artist painted the story of transportation, a playful arrangement of letters, vehicles, and animals ranging from donkeys to jet planes. In 2015 the former garage is being refurbished. 2520 Michigan Ave., Detroit, 1991.

© Camilo José Vergara

 '67 Lincoln, Willie's Garage, 2250 Michigan Ave., Detroit 1997.  © Camilo José Vergara

'67 Lincoln, Willie's Garage, 2250 Michigan Ave., Detroit 1997.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Hand Rinses Car Wash, John R. at Grand Blvd., Detroit, 1999.  © Camilo José Vergara

Hand Rinses Car Wash, John R. at Grand Blvd., Detroit, 1999.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Fenkell Ave. at Monica, Detroit, 1995.  © Camilo José Vergara

Fenkell Ave. at Monica, Detroit, 1995.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Mr. G's Billiard Room, Fenkell at Kentucky, Detroit, 1993.  © Camilo José Vergara

Mr. G's Billiard Room, Fenkell at Kentucky, Detroit, 1993.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Mural by Finesse Art Works, Grand River Blvd. at 14th St., Detroit, 1995.  © Camilo José Vergara

Mural by Finesse Art Works, Grand River Blvd. at 14th St., Detroit, 1995.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Curtis Lewis, mural depicting an Egyptian pyramid, the Renaissance Center and a portrait of Mayor Dennis Archer, honoring the African American identity of Detroit. The mural has disappeared along with the former Canfield Market, whose back wall it once graced. East Canfield Street at Philip Street, Detroit, 2008.  © Camilo José Vergara

Curtis Lewis, mural depicting an Egyptian pyramid, the Renaissance Center and a portrait of Mayor Dennis Archer, honoring the African American identity of Detroit. The mural has disappeared along with the former Canfield Market, whose back wall it once graced. East Canfield Street at Philip Street, Detroit, 2008.

© Camilo José Vergara

 McNichols East at Alcoy Avenue, Detroit, 2011.  © Camilo José Vergara

McNichols East at Alcoy Avenue, Detroit, 2011.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Hot T-bone steak with trimmings, R&D Soul Food, 11811 East 7 Mile Road, Detroit, 2012.  © Camilo José Vergara

Hot T-bone steak with trimmings, R&D Soul Food, 11811 East 7 Mile Road, Detroit, 2012.

© Camilo José Vergara

 15535 West McNichols Rd., Detroit, 2015.  © Camilo José Vergara

15535 West McNichols Rd., Detroit, 2015.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Soul Food, Glenn's Kitchen, 9525 Wyoming St, Detroit, 2014.  © Camilo José Vergara

Soul Food, Glenn's Kitchen, 9525 Wyoming St, Detroit, 2014.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Rain On Us Deliverance Ministries, 4256 Mitchell, Detroit, 2003.  © Camilo José Vergara

Rain On Us Deliverance Ministries, 4256 Mitchell, Detroit, 2003.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Livernois Avenue at Northfield Street, Detroit, 2006.  © Camilo José Vergara

Livernois Avenue at Northfield Street, Detroit, 2006.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Van Dyke Ave. at E. Forest, Detroit, 2008.  © Camilo José Vergara

Van Dyke Ave. at E. Forest, Detroit, 2008.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Hats Galore and More, 10061 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, 2001.  © Camilo José Vergara

Hats Galore and More, 10061 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, 2001.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Reggies Styles Unlimited, 9047 Woodward Ave, Detroit. 2000. Painter William Lane, 1972.  © Camilo José Vergara

Reggies Styles Unlimited, 9047 Woodward Ave, Detroit. 2000. Painter William Lane, 1972.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Glen's Barbershop, painted by Ron. 16234 Plymouth, Detroit. 2015.  © Camilo José Vergara

Glen's Barbershop, painted by Ron. 16234 Plymouth, Detroit. 2015.

© Camilo José Vergara

 “Decayed Dentures,” Customized Dental Laboratory. 2919 Mack Avenue, Detroit. 2007.  © Camilo José Vergara

“Decayed Dentures,” Customized Dental Laboratory. 2919 Mack Avenue, Detroit. 2007.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Above the image, the sign reads: "Dancing, I Choose You Presents Ballroom Classes."  7631 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, 2015.  © Camilo José Vergara

Above the image, the sign reads: "Dancing, I Choose You Presents Ballroom Classes."  7631 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, 2015.

© Camilo José Vergara

 West Montana St. at Woodward Ave., Highland Park, Detroit, 2009.  © Camilo José Vergara

West Montana St. at Woodward Ave., Highland Park, Detroit, 2009.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Coleman Young, Woodward Ave. at Quick Lane, Detroit, 2011.  © Camilo José Vergara

Coleman Young, Woodward Ave. at Quick Lane, Detroit, 2011.

© Camilo José Vergara

 Gratiot Ave, by Fisher, artwork by Bird. 465 9942 Detroit, 2010.  © Camilo José Vergara  Read Vergara's proposal for The Other Shinola  here .

Gratiot Ave, by Fisher, artwork by Bird. 465 9942 Detroit, 2010.

© Camilo José Vergara

Read Vergara's proposal for The Other Shinola here.