Excellent signs from K.L. Rankine, a gentleman sign painter in Jamaica

Click to view large. Photo: Jeff Simmermon.

Boing Boing pal Jeff Simmermon sends us some wonderful snapshots of a local Jamaican artist who lives and works in Treasure Beach, "a very sparsely populated rural beach town in Southern Jamaica," where Jeff and his bride are celebrating their honeymoon (congrats, you two!). I saw these photos on Facebook, and asked Jeff if he wouldn't mind sharing them with Boing Boing, too.

Jeff obliged, and says, "This guy's sign painting business is somewhere near Black River, but nowhere near anything at all. He's got a lot of bible verses and wise sayings, and a few pieces that are INTENSELY anatomical."

When Jeff's back from his honeymoon, I'll have to track him down and see if he caught this artist's name.

Perhaps other Boing Boing readers would like to visit and patronize his wonderful business. I know I do.

Update: Jeff says,

The painter's name is K.L. Rankine (according to his signature on the pieces), and all I know about him is that he works right next to the Ruby Jerk Centre, near a "bamboo tunnel" that's a pretty well-known spot in the area. He told me that he hurt his leg and couldn't do physical work anymore, so he just got really into painting. I could have bought ALL of these, and really want to go back and get more. I'd love to see him tap into a market in the States and make a decent living, but wouldn't want for him to be strip-mined like a natural resource in a developing nation. And, to clarify: he's somewhere between Black River and Treasure Beach, but I honestly couldn't tell you where, apart from "near the bamboo tunnel." There are not a lot of road signs or mile markers out there.

Click to view large. Photo: Jeff Simmermon.

Click to view large. Photo: Jeff Simmermon.

Click to view large. Photo: Jeff Simmermon.


  1. What does he sell them for? I don’t think I’d be able to resist buying one, though I have absolutely no use for one. Hard to imagine a better souvenir, far superior to the sort of schlocky tourist-oriented art you can get in a lot of places like this.

  2. Wow. I wonder…what would happen…if you engaged him in discussion of certain hot button topics.

  3. On the other hand, if you want to celebrate your gay marriage, or just happen to be LGBT, or even sympathetic to such people, Jamaica is not the place to go celebrate. Horrific mob beatings of people who don’t fit with local consensus on appropriate sexuality are common.

  4. reminds me of a Howard Finster type, except better lettering and literacy.

    the movie Rockers gives another window into this type of Jamaican craftsmanship.  Horsemouth goes to the painter to get the Loin of Judah painted on the tank of his new motorbike, and the guy does it on-the-spot, right on camera.

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