Good Guy Boris is a journalist and creator of The Grifters. He started his career in his early teenage years shooting film when he found himself, as he explains: ‘With the wrong people at the right time’. Boris was born and raised in the heartlands of Eastern Europe, where hustling and corruption was, and continues to be, rife and commonplace.Boris can recall his adolescence fondly and romantically likens it to flashes from an Emir Kusturica or a Guy Ritchie movie, constantly finding himself surrounded by extraordinary characters and in the middle of ridiculous ventures. His interest into the realms of sociology and criminology brought him to discover the local underworld of both organized, and disorganized crime. These would include a wide variety of colorful characters, from street level hustlers, drug addicts, compulsive gamblers and graffiti writers. These kinds of people, that society collectively labels as rejects and devoid of morality, revealed to the photographer a hidden but sincere beauty, an apparent virtuosity that others seemingly ignored.

A few years later, Boris presented a selection of his archives to both mainstream and alternative medias; his pictures ended up either censured or rejected. These denials didn’t dampen his belief nor point of view, and he therefore decided to create his own platform – an original photojournalism blog aptly named The Grifters. Here he posted the photo-diary he had been working on for the best part of a decade. A confronting compilation of material, presented in such a provocative way, as such inevitably attracted the attention of the cool-hunters, and The Grifters became known as one of the Internet’s most outstanding graffiti lifestyle blogs.

After events that gave way to a change in his dynamic, Boris decided to leave the viciousness of his ecosystem and to change the direction of his work, relocating to the European capital of art and fashion: Paris. He arrived in France carrying only a backpack and a dream; to create a multimedia project that would both entertain and educate young people lost in the destructive habits Boris witnessed growing up. Today, The Grifters is known as a ubiquitous source of all things relating to the urban lifestyle, a figurative Swiss army knife of Graffiti culture. Boris is now himself considered to be one of the most remarkable personas in the Parisian graffiti scene.

Recently released from prison, after 4 months remanded in custody for charges including Conspiracy and Vandalism, Boris has found himself organizing his first and long awaited exhibition entitled

“The Paradigm Shift”  

The Paradigm Shift is a visual confrontation that engages the viewer to assess how they perceive their own reality, by highlighting their perception of reality from a different vantage point. The exhibition will encourage the viewer to question their perceptions and preconceptions, and how we absorb scenarios through a filter of personal prejudices. The artist takes us on a journey of virtue and vice, illustrating the ambiance and the energy found in one of the most rebellious and popular movements today – Graffiti. These artworks effectively transmit to the viewer the experience, the same divine combination of thrill and delightfulness that Boris discovered while working with some of the world’s most dedicated graffiti writers, the ones that society had previously labelled as vandals and outlaws. Their artworks are accomplished with an unconditional enthusiasm, in places where others would not dare to approach. They create these with no financial gain in mind, only for the sake of the personal ‘eyegasm’; a ceremonious celebration of the ego, to which society only awards a penalty, and time behind bars.

Text: James Hattrick


About The Author

From Australia, James Hattrick has been described as your favourite writer's favourite author, as he makes the move from his graffiti roots deeper into the field of literature.