Street Art Spotter: Women of the Street… Literally

Medusa or model? Two very different muses

At first glance, it seems as if these two pieces are a collaboration between street artists Guerin Swing and There She Is: The lackadaisical model devoid of color set against the vibrant hues of Medusa is picture perfect. But Medusa’s wild sea-green hair and piercing blue eyes are no match for our magazine pin-up. The beauty lies in the fact that Medusa was alone for a while before the bored model came along and made the scene more compelling.

WHAT: This image of a laconic, reclining woman wouldn’t be out of place in most fashion magazines. Considering its placement under a drawing of a postmodern medusa—was that deliberate or happy accident?—it might be a meditation on what it means to be a woman, a particularly relevant issue during New York Fashion Week. Or it might just be another bored model gazing aimlessly into the distance. 

WHO: Guerin Swing, an artist known for his powerful black-and-white stencils, is also an accomplished muralist who’s comfortable with several mediums including concrete and wood. There She Is works primarily with acrylics, using strong colors and broad brushstrokes to convey emotions. 

WHERE: Spotted on an electricity box on the north side of Melrose Avenue near Fairfax Avenue, across from Melrose High School. This particular box is known for hosting sweet wheat-paste pieces and intricate stickers, affectionately known as “slaps.” The art normally lasts for only a few hours before it’s taken down by the Department of Sanitation or covered by an even newer piece. 

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