Words by Roads ~ part IV

This is the last one, located in my new hood at the Fruitvale Ave. exit of 580…

words by roads, Seyed Alavi, word murals oakland

They say a picture can tell a thousand words, but sometimes one word can convey something that no picture can.

I think it’s interesting how powerfully these murals communicate complex ideas in such simple visual fashion. They are classic examples of conceptual art, in which the idea takes precedence over the aesthetics.

Their beauty is found in their playfulness with language… adding the (N) in this instance completely changes the meaning of an everyday word, and forces us to think about our roles and responsibilities within this society… our democracy is only as strong as citizenry is well-informed.

The others are similarly clever and thought provoking. This is the nature of much of Seyed Alavi’s artwork, which is “engaged with the poetics of language and space and their power to shape reality.”

When these pieces  were first installed in 1992 they were intended to be temporary works.  I, for one, am glad they remain all these years later.

Please see previous two posts for more in depth discussion of Alavi, the creation of these pieces, and others.