NIKKOBy Jeremy Roberts
One day while listening to the amazing Oakland based podcast Snap Judgement and fighting the war on terror with my immaculate Photoshop skills (aka cloning trees for a company that makes flight simulator programs for the armed forces) I was blessed with listening to this story by Delfin Vigil.
The author discovers the work of San Francisco sidewalk artist NIKKO in the Nob Hill/Russian Hill/Chinatown areas, does some serious research in photographing and locating the artist himself, interviews NIKKO, writes his own message in the sidewalk, produces a 23 page magazine of the story, and has the story featured on NPR's Snap Judgement.
We have been looking and photographing for NIKKO's for 5 months now and have gathered a small collection of images. Some of the best have been the sidewalk scribes that feature commentary attached to the name, as seen in the photo of "NIKKO CALL HOME", as well as others that the author has featured in his magazine. Sometimes you can start at a hotspot of a corner(some where near Union street-Union Street being revealed as the street of his residence during his reign) and walk a few feet in any direction and find NIKKO's upon NIKKO's. Some creep out from under planter boxes, some have been capped years ago, some are barely seen from being filled with dirt and grime and worn away from years of street traffic, some cut off from new and old cement laid, and some are only visible during certain times of the day or weather conditions.
I was greatly impressed with the authors ability to research and locate the mystery man, as well as his strategy of interviewing the man and probing for answers about some of the more dark messages left by the young man many years ago. There is not much information online besides the various links about the initial article and magazine posting and the podcast but I did find it interesting to read a few of the comments left on the magcloud and therumpus.net site. I really enjoyed seeing local SF residents discovering the article online and knowing of NIKKO's throughout the neighborhoods and finally finding an answer to their questions.
Sadie and I have been searching NIKKO's for a few months and after re-listening to the podcast we followed the authors directions to where he began his story and scribed "I FOUND NIKKO" in wet cement near the end of Union Street.
We also have began scribing our own here and there, with either "NIKKO HUNTERS", "WLS8", or drawn 8balls reppin' the Almighty 8Ball Posse. Be on the lookout. We out here!