Good Guy Boris
Boris is a Parisian based director, visual artist & curator. He is mostly known for founding the internet graffiti phenomenon The Grifters Journal and later with his alter ego Good Guy Boris, which shot him to popularity thanks to the success of a series of web video travelogues entitled Grifters Code. His career started out in his early adolescence as a photographer, when he was shooting on film what he explains as: ‘the wrong people at the right time’.
Not one to become a product of his environment, Boris can recall constantly finding himself surrounded by extraordinary characters in the middle of surreal situations. This exposure to how the other half of the world live revealed to him a hidden but sincere beauty, an apparent virtuosity that others seemingly ignored.
Emboldened by the scenes he was capturing, Boris became just as ambitious as the people surrounding him and begun to search for further acclaim, submitting his work to various print media organisations. Apart from the odd acknowledgement, these attempts at publication resulted in nothing but rejection. Boris however did not dampen his belief nor point of view, therefore deciding to instead create his own platform - an original photoblog aptly named The Grifters. There he began posting and compiling, focusing on purposefully confronting aesthetic works, following a style path that was not yet tread by others in the field. The way it was presented was seen by many to be so provocative, that it inevitably attracted the attention of the cool-hunters, and The Grifters™ became known as one of the Internet's most outstanding graffiti lifestyle blogs.
Relocating himself from humble beginnings in Bulgaria, through to the capital of fashion and art – Paris, he arrived only with a backpack and a dream. Surrounded by the ideas that the mere mention of the city of Paris encapsulates, he evolved the photoblog into a fashion brand slash publishing company and started to produce the Grifters Code videos, bringing himself and his ideas to fore of the subcultural meta, putting a face on the idea of a graffiti ‘celebrity’.
In answer to these confrontational marketing techniques, the content of the videos and the messages that they spread, in May 2014 Boris was nothing less than crucified by the Parisian Anti-Graffiti unit. Armed with a list of extravagant and trumped up charges, the task force were able to unjustly commit Boris to four months of imprisonment in Europe’s largest prison, Fleury-Merogis. Ironically, the “unwanted holidays” as he likes to call them, had a multiplier effect on awareness for himself and his brand.
After his release Boris took on a new direction, focusing on his personal artistic career, producing documentary films, curating exhibitions and participating in panel talks. He also began promoting and managing other artists, most notably Moses and Taps. Boris’ charisma, knowledge and experience with social media granted him huge popularity in the domain of urban art & lifestyle journalism, which he actively continues to develop and support. It is his experience and understanding of Social Media dynamics that has greatly assisted him in getting traction with ideas and concepts that others can’t. Instead of just following the path of other “street art”, Boris uses his platform to help grow understanding of the more atypical graffiti cultural concepts. His faith and passion for finding and exposing positives within the underground movements he is a part of, grants him the ability to bridge the gap between institutions and individual artists.