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BORF in the news

February 1, 2005

On my daily Google News crawl, I was amazed and delighted to find that stencil artist BORF is making quite a splash in Raleigh, North Carolina. From the local Eyewitness News:

It’s the mystery that has baffled many people in Raleigh. A grinning graffiti face has popped up all over the place and they’re calling him “Borf.”
We don’t know who he is, but we know he has become the talk of the town.

The rest of the story is less positive, and mostly gets the story wrong. An article in today’s News & Observer is far less incoherent than the TV news story, but still doesn’t seem to really understand the concept of stencil graffiti:

With many of the images, the most impressive feature is sheer audacity. In Washington, the artist decorated — or defaced, depending on your view — the Key Bridge. He changed stop signs in bustling Logan Circle to read “CAN’T STOP BORF.” In New York, he slapped a “Bush Go Home” sticker on a police car.
Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said police had seen the faces but had not received any complaints. The images will be examined to see whether they are linked to gangs, but “it clearly would not be typical of gang graffiti,” he said. (emphasis mine)

BORF is a stencilist who, during this summer’s anti-RNC protests, delighted visitors to the Time’s Up bike space on Houston St. with a nearby 2-color, 4-foot stencil reading “RNC Fuck Off!” We spotted the same figure on the Anarchist Resistance site right before the Inauguration protests.
You can check out BORF’s gallery on to see more work.


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