John Tsombikos, ‘Rothko's Modern Life 12’, 2013, Lazinc

About John Tsombikos

Straddling the street and the academy, John Tsombikos, aka BORF, pours his heart into tagging and painting alike, addressing what he sees as the alienation of modern life and commuter culture, and the sad status quo of adulthood. His burgeoning career was forged out of anguish over his best friend’s suicide. Adopting his friend’s nickname, BORF, he bombed the walls of Washington, D.C. with statements like, “grownups are obsolete,” until his eventual arrest. The end of his probation coincided with his graduation from art school, where he honed his practice and developed an appreciation for painting, and Mark Rothko’s canvases in particular. BORF pays homage to the modern master in his “Rothko’s Modern Life” series (begun 2008), in which he melds the artist’s moody stains with graffiti in a visual symbiosis that reflects, in his words, “human tragedy, ecstasy, doom.”

American , b. 1987

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