26 year-old John Tsombikos, formerly known as BORF, is the name to drop in urban art circles right now.
The youth practically sing ballads about him in Washington DC where he grew up. As a teenager he embarked on a prolific, partisan graffiti campaign after becoming enraged by the suicide of a close friend, daubing slogans like "Grown-ups are obsolete" and "BORF writes letters to your children" around a consistent picture of an eager, positive and rather stupid grinning face, alongside politically charged stencils, wheatpastes and tags. BORF, some will be aware, is also the acronym for America's Bill Of Rights Foundation.
After a sabbatical working out of Detroit, John has returned to his birthplace of New York City. His artistic background in hardcore graffiti has evolved considerably. Now employing a sensitive realist style combined with abstractive elements, he often contrasts "adult" life with the vigour of youth. This is exemplified by his enormously successful Rothko's Modern Life series of paintings, which feature graffiti overlaid with colours in the acclaimed 20th century painter's multiform style.