Rosen’s yellow-and-black color palette shouts boldly at the Chicago loop intersection of State and Washington. This six-story high mural encodes meaning and is a call to action for the community. She takes the viewer through reading, listening, seeing, understanding and back again. Her work doesn’t belong to just one discipline.
I once had a conversation with a type design professor about Kay Rosen’s typographic installation work. My view is that her work is genius visual wit. He countered with “or it’s a nice solution to a Typography 1 assignment.” I think both are true in the best way.
I always admire those who have the courage to go before the public with a bold message, and in this case, almost a prayer for change. She partnered with United Way of Metro Chicago and the Chicago Loop Alliance to bring awareness to Chicago’s education system. It’s just latex paint and a brick surface, but it’s also a beacon and a reminder. In Rosen’s words “it’s great when art can multitask.”
There are a myriad of ways to read her installation:
Go Do Good
God O Good
Go Do Go...
I find Rosen’s strength often lies in editing. She studied languages at Tulane and linguistics at Northwestern, although her work feels at home in a fine art, design or even an advertising context. She uses typography to get closer to language, and I am always envious of those who can pursue that at such a large scale and with such resonance.