Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Geisha returns

When it comes to street art and graffiti, the Boerum Hill/Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill area of Brooklyn has nothing on places like Williamsburg, Bushwick, Bed/Stuy, Dumbo or Long Island City. It's hip here, but not that hip, and in any case, brownstones don't make for the best canvasses.

But we do have enough of a scene to keep things interesting, if you pay close attention. A lot of what we have is pretty amateurish, and even the Zemo (thanks to my wife Kelly for casting the sole vote in my poll to determine his tag) is often seen as more of a work in progress, every so often, someone comes along who clearly has chops.

Back in May, we were graced with paste ups of "boom box Geisha."

On a phone booth
On the side of a building
On the side of an abandoned kiosk

On a mail box

On another mailbox

On a construction fence

They varied a bit, but you get the gist. Not bad, right? Kind of a nice addition to the tags. I prefer the red one on the green box. Being paste ups, they didn't last long, of course; I'd say by late June, most were gone.

But the Geishas have not left  for good. They returned last month, just as we were embarking on a pilgrimage to Martha's Vineyard for some much needed beach time. On July 18th, I walked out to get some bagels for the long ride, and found this at the entrance to my subway:

Yup, the Geisha is back, and she brought a friend. A rainbow tooth? A Pac-Man ghost? Not really sure what that little guy is, but he seems to go with this variation of the Geisha. Again, she's now ensconced all up and down Smith Street:
By the bagel joint (alas, this construction fence has been removed)
On another construction fence

Here tooth guy accompanies two of the Geishas with boomboxes on another one of the abandoned kiosks. Bonus view of ZEMO.

On the door of the Met Supermarket
Grateful that these whimsical characters have resurfaced in the hood, and intrigued to learn who might be behind them, I turned last night to Flickr and did a quick search for the words "boombox" and "geisha," and bingo; I found Geisha Boombox by Jonathan Wakuda Fischer. Seems Fischer is in town from Seattle for a job, and from the looks of his blog, he's quite the street art fan. Interestingly, you can also find these pieces on display in some very reputable places.

His second round on Smith Street has also yielded a definitively positive response from the locals, if this recent buff is any indication. Gone are the tags from Trooz and Merdz (whose work was, lets face it, pretty lacking), as well as the rainbow tooth. But the Geisha remains, alone in amidst a dark red sea, for who knows how long.
So cheers Jonathan! Thanks for visiting the neighborhood!