Yellow Pavement Robot Mystery: Solved
Recently someone asked me about the yellow guys that are stuck on sidewalks downtown. I've always wondered myself, so with the help of the two mightiest knowledge sources in the universe: Google and Jimmy Ogle, I think I've figured it out.
Some people have called them aliens. I've also heard robots and "voodoo guys", because of the blocky style. However you describe them, these yellowish figures you'll find in several crosswalks downtown Memphis are most likely the work of stikman.
stikman is spelled on purpose with a lowercase "s" and no "c", and is the pseudonym of an artist who has gone all over the country installing these figures for the last several years. The stickman figure is so curious and so common that the Washington Post did a story back in 2008. Also, here's an interview with stikman from StreetArtNYC blog from a few years ago, if you want to learn more.
Last year, art blog Wooster Collective published a short post written by the anonymous artist. He explains that he creates a new figure each year, slightly evolved from the previous figure. Judging by the images in that post, it seems like stikman hasn't been to Memphis in a bit: most of his new stikmen are more three-dimensional than the ones I've seen downtown.
The mystery of the yellow guy is as solved as it's going to be: it's stikman, a traveling artist of a secret identity, leaving his mark and instilling wonder and curiosity on Memphis streets.
stikman, if you're reading this: we dig it. Come back anytime.
If you find any stikmen in Memphis, snap a photo and post it online, tag #ilovememphis and #stikman with the location and I'll add it to the map. Or email me.