Tag Archives: kqed’s spark

Words By Roads ~ part III

“Art is inseparable from life.” ~ Seyed Alavi

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This is a continuation from yesterday’s post eRACISM

KQED did a wonderful feature on Seyed Alavi in a recent edition of Spark. Not only does Alavi discuss the creation of these murals (one of his first public art projects), explaining of this one, “You need to put your ‘I’ in [this world] to make a difference,” but he also discusses several others including his Emeryville project Signs of the Times, also a collaborative effort with local students.

Anyone who’s been to Emeryville has undoubtedly seen the striking yellow and black utility boxes featuring manipulated stick figures in unusual, comical, or paradoxical positions… one figure has a jigsaw puzzle piece for a head, one juggles three bowling ball heads, one kneels in front of a giant question mark, etc. I have always loved this project but never knew who was responsible for these clever and thought-provoking images until watching this episode…

If you have the time to watch the full episode, a recent project done for the Exploratorium in San Francisco is featured at the end, and it’s simply fascinating. The piece explores the concept of liminality – “a psychological, neurological, or metaphysical subjective, conscious state of being on the ‘threshold’ of or between two different existential planes.” (Wikipedia) Talk about deep.

Crude & Gats

So I’m a little late getting this one up… always so hard to catch up after the long holiday weekends… busy busy busy. And even though this is a new week, it’s the last day of the month and I really wanted to finish up the graffiti focus of last week with the stellar and ubiquitous work of a couple of local artists

“Dead Eyes” is the tag you’ll see on much of one guys work, but he’s a West Oakland artist who actually goes by the moniker “Crude”. I know this because my graf friends tell me these things. Thanks Endless Canvas!

He’s enough of an entity that KQED actually did a brief feature on him as part of their arts program Spark… you can check out the clip here.

I’ve featured his works before… I think the first one was a hand-drawn USPS sticker right outside my home. You can use the search feature to find all the other posts if you’re curious… He does lots of faces with a wide flat nose and thick lips. He embellishes many of them with more ornate elements reminiscent of African masks.

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In the shot below, the smaller sticker top right is his… it says “Dead Eyes”… duh. The sticker below and slightly left (with the beard) is the work of another artist named Gats (short for Graffiti Against the System). This is one of his simpler pieces… You’ll see a developing trend…

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Here’s another pair… Crude on the left (Army of One) and Gats on the right… This face with the beard seems to be his trademark.

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A lot of these works seem to be unique hand drawn stickers (rather than mass produced)… maybe that’s why one was ripped off below….

Dead Eyes Stickers, Crude stickers, West Oakland Sticker art, west oakland graffiti

This one below is the most detailed of Gat’s images that I’ve seen…. it’s incredible.

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Another Dead Eyes with a handful of other folks…

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And two more Gats…

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