John Tsombikos’s abstractions are literally that: abstracts (in the word’s action sense) of the city’s worn passages. He paints directly on the street and places the canvas over the wet painted area, leaving it up to the flows of traffic to press the paint to the canvas in its tracks. Tsombikos is known for a memorial graffiti campaign carried out in his teenage years, dedicated to his best friend BORF, who committed suicide at age 16. His work deals in loss (of both people and place), but beneath this platitude is vital and transcendent buoyancy rooted in the lacunae of city systems.
BEYOND THE STREETS New York, 2019. Photo by Dan Bradica.