Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Answer: What's the story of the yellow guy?

After last week's challenging challenge, I figured everyone would like a fun puzzle, one that shows you an aspect of life that you don't normally see.  I certainly don't try tracking down graffiti artists by internet searches... but this message from Robert M was just too good to resist.  

As most people did, my first search was straight-forward: 

 [ graffiti crosswalk yellow man ] 

Why didn't I try image search first?  Because I had no hope that I could find a match out there.  The image that Robert sent me was at an odd angle, rotated, etc etc.  Maybe it would have worked, but I figured that I'd just try regular web search first... and it worked out pretty well.  

After looking around a bit, I found that this figure is called "Stickman" or "Stikman" -- and once you've got THAT bit of information, it's possible to find LOTS of collections of images of the yellow man, usually in crosswalks... but sometimes in other places.  

So.. while the evidence seems to point to an artist tagged as "Bob," given the distribution and variation in styles of Stikman, it's more likely that there are a number of Bobs out there, making the world a bit more playful and light.  

Stephan Lowman from the Washington Post wrote up a story about "Bob" that seems genuine and plausible.  But you know how guerrilla art movements go... this is probably just the tip of the iceberg, the shape of which is probably unknowable.  

Long live Stikman!  

Search on... for more Stikmen.... 

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