[NetBehaviour] The Mark Of Borf
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon Jul 18 01:26:56 CEST 2005
*The Mark Of Borf
With Graffitist's Arrest, Police Put a Name to the Familiar Face*
By Libby Copeland
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 14, 2005; Page C01
The mysterious, ubiquitous and eminently destructive graffiti artist
known as Borf was arrested yesterday after waging a months-long campaign
that may have been intended to enlighten Washington, but mostly just
The man primarily responsible for Borf is, it turns out, an 18-year-old
art student from Great Falls named John Tsombikos, according to D.C.
police inspector Diane Groomes. He was arrested along with two other
young men in the wee hours of yesterday morning after officers received
a tip that graffiti artists were spray-painting at Seventh and V streets NW.
Approached by a reporter at D.C. Superior Court yesterday, Tsombikos
refused to comment. One of the other men arrested, Richard Lee, 18,
said, "Borf is dead."
Well, yes and no. According to Tsombikos's mother, Kathleen Murphy of
Great Falls, Borf was the nickname for a close friend of her son's who
committed suicide about two years ago. The Borf face featured in his
graffiti -- which many who've walked through Dupont Circle would
recognize, and which looks somewhat like TV actor Jerry O'Connell --
belongs to that young man. Murphy suggests that for her son, the Borf
face and moniker came to stand for all that he felt was wrong with the
Many who saw Tsombikos's graffiti -- including a huge five-foot-high
Borf face that appeared on a Roosevelt Bridge sign this spring, and a
15-foot "BORF" above a Dupont Circle cafe -- might suggest that, far
from making the world better, he cost the city of Washington a lot of money.
Dennis Butler of the D.C. Department of Public Works said the Borf tag
prompted almost daily phone calls to the city call center. "He's just
all over the inner city," Butler said.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the NetBehaviour