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Consolation of Ruin

Part 1 – Part 2

Part 2

Another room, painted off-white, contained various tools of the Borf trade.  Some stencils were framed, while others were loose.  The flag of Washington DC hung over a window.



To make the above image using spray paint, it took the use of three stencils, one after the other.

To make the above image using spray paint, it took the use of three stencils, one after the other.

To make the above image using spray paint, it took the use of three stencils, one after the other.  To make the above image using spray paint, it took the use of three stencils, one after the other.

To make the above image using spray paint, it took the use of three stencils, one after the other.


Tools of the graffitist's trade...

Tools of the graffitist’s trade…


This pair of stencils was designed for use on stop signs.

This pair of stencils was designed for use on stop signs.  Thus the apparent “CAN’T BORF” message here actually expands out to “CAN’T STOP BORF” as seen here in this photo from borfyou.com:

"CAN'T STOP BORF"
Photo: borfyou.com


This stencil featured the grinning Borf face on the body of Black Panther Huey P. Newton holding a rifle.

This stencil featured the grinning Borf face on the body of Black Panther Huey P. Newton holding a rifle.  The result of this stencil can still be seen along the Red Line near Silver Spring station, though it is partly painted out:

Borf stencil along the Red Line near Silver Spring


Even the bathroom, with a sign saying "Chuck Burgundy, Philanthropist" on the door, was covered with graffiti.

Even the bathroom, with a sign saying “Chuck Burgundy, Philanthropist” on the door, was covered with graffiti.


The hallway contained a painting, the only painted instance of the Borf face in the show, and the one thing perhaps everyone wanted to see: the stencil of the Borf face.


 The layered painting was painted on glass or Plexiglas (one or the other), with the back layer containing dripping words, and the other containing the image of a young man shouting.

 The layered painting was painted on glass or Plexiglas (one or the other), with the back layer containing dripping words, and the other containing the image of a young man shouting.


And here it is - the one instance of the grinning Borf face in the show.  Borf is holding a spray paint can, as if he had just painted the phrase "Mad cuz I'm flagrant."  The hallway was too narrow to get a straight-on shot, so here's a slightly angled view of the whole scene.

And here it is – the one instance of the grinning Borf face in the show.  Borf is holding a spray paint can, as if he had just painted the phrase “Mad cuz I’m flagrant.”  The hallway was too narrow to get a straight-on shot, so here’s a slightly angled view of the whole scene.

And here it is - the one instance of the grinning Borf face in the show.  Borf is holding a spray paint can, as if he had just painted the phrase "Mad cuz I'm flagrant."  The hallway was too narrow to get a straight-on shot, so here's a slightly angled view of the whole scene.


This message, which says, "Stevie Wonder has crack buddies!" was written within the above message.

This message, which says, “Stevie Wonder has crack buddies!” was written within the above message.


The Borf face itself was cut out of the bottom of a pizza box.  An inspection of the box revealed no specific brand.  I was surprised to see that a pizza box was the stencil, but then again, I wasn't quite sure what to expect about such things.

The Borf face itself was cut out of the bottom of a pizza box.  An inspection of the box revealed no specific brand.  I was surprised to see that a pizza box was the stencil, but then again, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect about such things.

The Borf face itself was cut out of the bottom of a pizza box.  An inspection of the box revealed no specific brand.  I was surprised to see that a pizza box was the stencil, but then again, I wasn't quite sure what to expect about such things.


The final room was the most museum-like of all of them.  This room contained no graffiti, and had framed copies of John Tsombikos’s court documents along the wall.  It also contained the show’s final mannequin, designed to represent a police officer.  It also contained a photo of Bobby Fisher, the person whose death the Borf campaign had tried to avenge.


Bobby Fisher, who went by the nickname "Borf", who committed suicide by hanging, on whom the grinning Borf face is based.  My understanding is that the grinning face is based on Fisher's imitation of his sister.

Bobby Fisher, who went by the nickname “Borf”, who committed suicide by hanging, on whom the grinning Borf face is based.  My understanding is that the grinning face is based on Fisher’s imitation of his sister.


One of the documents on the wall was a letter from VMS, Inc., which documents for the court the costs that the company incurred due to Borf.

One of the documents on the wall was a letter from VMS, Inc., which documents for the court the costs that the company incurred due to Borf.


The mannequin of the police officer depicts police in an unfavorable light, showing a somewhat-overweight officer sitting on a couch watching TV, with one foot on the coffee table, nightstick tucked under one arm, shirt untucked, and wearing a riot shield and graduation cap.  The mannequin of the police officer depicts police in an unfavorable light, showing a somewhat-overweight officer sitting on a couch watching TV, with one foot on the coffee table, nightstick tucked under one arm, shirt untucked, and wearing a riot shield and graduation cap.

The mannequin of the police officer depicts police in an unfavorable light, showing a somewhat-overweight officer sitting on a couch watching TV, with one foot on the coffee table, nightstick tucked under one arm, shirt untucked, and wearing a riot shield and graduation cap.

The mannequin of the police officer depicts police in an unfavorable light, showing a somewhat-overweight officer sitting on a couch watching TV, with one foot on the coffee table, nightstick tucked under one arm, shirt untucked, and wearing a riot shield and graduation cap.


The building's paint-spattered east stairs had "BORF" written at the bottom, and a message written overhead.

The building’s paint-spattered east stairs had “BORF” written at the bottom, and a message written overhead.


And with that, I headed out!  It was starting to get late, and I had things I had to take care of back home.  And I felt I had a great photo take from the event.  So I headed back towards New York Avenue station.  I found it quite appropriate that, while on the way back to the Metro station, I ran into the Borf face one more time…


Borf on a sticker, stuck to a construction sign.  How fitting to see this right after the Borf show.

Borf on a sticker, stuck to a construction sign.  How fitting to see this right after the Borf show.


And then from there, it was back to the Metro for me, to catch the Red Line back home to Maryland.  It was a fun art show, and I had a great time seeing the art, speaking with the other participants, and also talking to Chuck Burgundy with his New England accent.

I wonder what Borf’s next thing will be…

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Part 1 – Part 2

Part 2