19 March 2007

Local Color

A reader tipped me off to something he called the "mosaic house" on Wyckoff Street between Smith and Hoyt, asking if I'd seen it. I thought I had seen everything in my general neighborhood and all the neighboring 'hoods, but, no, I would've remembered this.

Three-story 108 Wyckoff is covered up to its waist in a riot of colorful beads, tiles, mirrors and ceramic chips. The swirling designs depict people, windows, silhouettes, orbs and various undulating shapes. Every available space is covered, including the window bars. It all communicates an atmosphere of joy which is punctuated by the word "celebrate," spelled out several times. Also repeated in the design is the number "108," to ensure spellbound mailmen deliver the post.

The in-progress mosaic is the work of artist Susan Gardner, who's been at work transforming her house since 2001. She does a little more every year. A neighbor said she emerges when the weather turns warm to recommence the project. (Personally, I think it looks good as is, the color and chaos of the lower floor contrasting nicely with the safe gray brick up top.)

The whole thing could easily have been a garish eyesore, but instead it feels like a classic quirky, architectural oddity in the making—the kind New York neighborhood's are blessed with from time to time, like Clinton Hill's ill-starred Broken Angel.


Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Isaiah Zagar's house on South Street in Philadelphia. For some cool pictures of this house, check out this website:


Anonymous said...

that is SO wicked! I can't wait to get back to NY now...